Olive and Cheese Loaf by Martha Bakes
- 3 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon instant or active-dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes aged Gruyere cheese
- 1 1/2 cups pitted 1/4-inch-thick slices green Spanish olives
- 1 1/2 cups cool water (55 to 65 degrees), plus more as needed
STEP 1 In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and yeast; stir in cheese and olives. Add water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until a wet, sticky dough forms, about 30 seconds, adding additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and surface becomes dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours. STEP 2 Generously flour work surface; scrape dough onto work surface. Lightly flour hands, a bowl scraper, or a spatula and lift edges of dough toward the center. Nudge and tuck edges of dough to make round. STEP 3 Place a piece of parchment paper on work surface and generously dust with flour. Gently place dough on parchment, seam-side down. If dough is tacky, lightly dust top with flour. Cover dough loosely with wax paper and two clean kitchen towels. Let down stand in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. STEP 4 Gently poke dough with your finger; dough should hold the impression. If it springs back, let rise 15 minutes more. STEP 5 Ten minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat oven to 475 degrees on a conventional oven (450 degrees on a convection oven) with a rack in the lower third. Place a covered 3 1/2-quart cast-iron or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven (with plastic handle removed and screw hole plugged with aluminum foil) in center of rack. STEP 6 Using pot holders, carefully remove preheated Dutch oven from oven and uncover. Uncover bread and loosen bottom with a large spatula. With the aid of the parchment paper, invert bread into preheated Dutch oven so that it is seam-side up. Cover Dutch oven and transfer to oven; bake for 25 minutes. STEP 7 Uncover and continue baking until bread is dark brown but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more. Using a heatproof spatula or pot holders, gently lift bread from Dutch oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.