It's times like these that I realize how lucky I am to have a huge kitchen, a nice oven, and husband who doesn't mind that I cut into a fresh loaf of bread before he came home. Yeah, I couldn't wait.
Olive Oil bread was inspired by a recipe in my favorite book, Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. However, the recipe calls for fresh yeast, which I didn't have (it's been out at the store the last few weeks... boo hoo), and I wanted to make a slightly smaller loaf. In the end, that didn't happen because the heavy dough was so oily, I kept adding flour and ended up close to Martha's proportions. But here's the proportions I used.
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 c warm (but not boiling) water
2/3 c extra virgin olive oil (I used Trader Joe's because it's what we had on hand)
about 4 cups of flour (I used 2 c unbleached all-purpose and 2 c bread flour)
2 tsp sea salt
cornmeal, for dusting
Mix the yeast, water, and honey together and let rest until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour, and salt and mix well by hand or with a stand mixer. Let rest until dough has doubled in bulk (for me, it was about 2 hours).
Form into a boule on baking sheet or wooden peel sprinkled with corn meal (I sort of winged it, but I wish I'd look this up beforehand). Sprinkle entire boule with cornmeal. Let rest an additional 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place pizza/baking stone in oven and preheat to 450. Score top of boule is square shaped pattern. Transfer to stone and bake 35-40 minutes.
I'm so in love with this bread. It's very crusty but totally moist inside. It doesn't even need topping like butter or olive oil, obviously because it's so delicious inside. And, I'm loving the baking stone method. The crust is so nice. Tastes like real bread :) From a store!