3 c. flour
(for the last batch I made (Oct 24), I used 1.5 c. white wheat flour, 1 c. high gluten white bread flour, 1 c. red wheat flour)
1 t. salt (I use sea salt)
Chopped dried Kalamata Olives and/or Sundried Tomatoes (I buy these at our local coop. I don’t measure so I have no idea how much I put in – maybe half a cup? maybe more. I think I chopped up 4 pieces of the sundried tomato – looked like 4 halves of a roma tomato. I chopped up a handful of the dried kalamata olives.)
1 T sugar (or honey – for my Oct 24 bread I used sugar)
1 T yeast
1.5 c water (I use 1/2 c to proof my yeast and then add another cup to the dry ingredients)
Shredded parmesan cheese (Again, I didn’t measure. Maybe I put in a half of a cup.)
Mix the flour, salt, chopped dried kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
In a measuring cup, put in the 1 T sugar. Add 1/2 c warm water to dissolve the sugar. Then add the 1 T yeast. Stir and make sure the yeast starts to bubble. (This is what I do to proof the yeast).
Pour the proofed yeast into the flour/salt/olive mix. Add another 1 c warm water. Stir everything together. Dough will be sticky.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit. Dough will be ready to bake when bubbles are on the surface.
Because I used a high gluten bread flour, my dough was ready to bake in about 3.5 hours. If I use all whole wheat flour, I let the dough sit in the bowl for 12 hours.
Put covered cast iron pot (4-5 quart) in oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with pot in oven. My oven does not have a bell that signals when it is up to temp – so I usually turn it on about a half hour before I want to bake the bread.
Meanwhile dust a large cutting board with flour. Also prepare a sheet of parchment paper, large enough for your ball of dough.
Turn the sticky dough onto a floured cutting board. I use a spatula to ease the sticky dough out of the bowl. Flatten the dough a bit. Sprinkle some shredded parmesan cheese on the dough, flatten the dough a bit, then fold the edges of the dough around it to cover. Turn the ball of dough over, and repeat – sprinkle some more parmesan cheese, and fold the edges of the dough around. I do this maybe one more time. I do NOT knead the dough, however, and I think it is best if you don’t handle the dough too much.
Form the dough into a ball and put the ball of dough in the center of the parchment paper.
When the oven with the pot is preheated and the pot is hot, lift the parchment paper with the ball of dough on it and put the whole thing, parchment paper and all, into the hot cast iron pot. Cover the pot and return to the oven.
Bake at 450 degrees for 1/2 hour. Remove the lid and bake for 15 minutes more.
Take out of the oven. Lift parchment paper and bread out, be careful, the edges of the parchment paper that were sticking out of the lid may have become brittle and you don’t want the paper to rip and your beautiful bread to fall on the floor. Slide the bread off the parchment paper onto a rack to cool.
Try (though it may be too hard) to let the bread cool a bit before cutting.