There are few things that I love more than the smell of bread baking in the oven. Something about that yeasty aroma leaves my taste buds pleading. My earliest memory of bread making is the great bread machine fad of the 90’s. I remember my mom and grandma being so excited to get their new toys and stocking up each week on different bread mixes to prepare. Although I was barely tall enough to be able to see over the contraption, I would love making my way into the kitchen periodically to check on the progress of its rising. The excitement of looking into the foggy, plastic window to find that the doughy mass had risen to its peak, was enough of a thrill to last me the rest of the day. The thrill is the same for me now as an adult than it was as a gap-toothed child. Today, the only difference is that my excitement stems from making new flavor combinations and seeing if they’ll turn out well. The bread that I am showing you today is a boule. This type of bread uses time instead of excessive kneading to give it it’s texture. By time, I mean 14 hours worth. This isn’t a bread you can throw together and have baking in an hour, but it is very easy. With a little patience, you will have a rustic, crusty ball of bread that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Even better, this isn’t just any old bread, its a Bloody Mary Boule. I know, i’ll give you a second to pick up your jaw. Spread with a
little lot of bacon jam and prepare to be in cocktail food heaven!
Adapted from Beth Dunham.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon yeast
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed chili peppers
- Pinch ground celery seed
- 2 Dashes Tabasco sauce
- ⅓ cup green olives
- Mix together dry ingredients in a big bowl using a whisk to evenly distribute the seasonings. Heat the tomato juice and Tabasco in a small saucepan until it feels warm to the touch, not too hot. Add the juice to the bowl, and stir to combine. Add olives and fold in so there are no clusters. The dough will be wet and shaggy, but make sure all of the flour is moistened. Cover the bowl with Saran and leave the mixture to rise for 12-18 hours in a warm spot.
- Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead for a minute or so. Form the dough into a ball, and place on a well floured cutting board. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel, and let rise for another 2 hours, until doubled in size. You will need an enameled dutch oven with a lid to make a crusty Boule.
- With your pot in the oven, preheat to 425F. Once the oven and the pot have one to temperature, carefully take the pot out of the oven and remove the lid. Roll the dough into the hot pot, replace lid, and return to the oven. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes.