For this particular Instructable, you will need:
6 1/2 Cups Flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher or other course salt
3 Cups Lukewarm Water
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Rosemary
25-30 small green olives
Pizza Peel or large flat surface you can "slide" the bread off of
Cornmeal for the Peel or Surface above
A mug of water
A sharp knife
A butter knife
A spatula ( I like using my BBQ one since it's handle is so long)
Large bowl or bucket with lid (Ice cream buckets work great!)
aaaaaand of course, an Oven!
Step 1: Measure and Dump!
Start with your 1 1/2 Tbsp Yeast, 1 1/2 Tbsp Salt, 1 tsp Thyme, 1/2 tsp Rosemary...dump into bucket.
Step 2: Stir It Up! Little Darlin...
Step 3: Flour Power!
Now, stir with your spoon until all the flour is incorporated. It doesn't have to be smooth, just make sure there are not any obvious pockets of flour or water hanging out.
Step 4: Cover and Wait!!
Step 5: To Bake or Not to Bake...that Is the Question!!
Step 6: Prep Your Stuff!
The first thing you want to do is cut up your olives. Started with about 30 but couldn't resist chomping a couple. Cut them in half and put to the side.
Next, grab your peel or other portable flat surface ( a cutting board will work too) and dust with a liberal coat of cornmeal, so you can easily slide your boule(s) off onto your hot baking stone!
Step 7: Big Bodacious Boules!
Dust your counter with a bit of flour, then drop some on top of your dough. Pull or cut off a grapefruit sized hunk of dough. Form into a ball by pulling the sides around and tucking them up underneath, rotating a quarter turn as you go. This step forms the "gluten cloak" that gives you a nice crust.
At this point, you can either set your ball on your dusted peel to rest or if you are adding olives, flatten your dough ball out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cover somewhat uniformly with green olives. Roll up dough jelly roll style, then tuck the ends in.
Flip the dough over and smooth the surface carefully not to pull any olives through. Now let the loaf rest on your peel. You will be ready to bake after 40 minutes.
Step 8: Final Prep and Bake!
While you wait for your oven to preheat, dust a small amount of flour on top of your boules and slash them to prevent them cracking open. You can do different designs, but I stick to the "tick tac toe" pattern and some simple slashes. When slashing your dough, don't cut too deep, especially the olive loaf or you might loose olives!
Fill your mug with tap water and grab an oven mit, then open your oven, slide the boule(s) onto the stone by a quick forward jerk of your peel. Quickly grab your oven mitt, pull the shallow pan out a bit and pour the mug of water in the pan, being careful not to burn yourself or keep your hand there long enough for the steam to scald you, then shut the oven as quickly as you can to trap the steam in the oven.
Bake at 450 for about 30 minutes until your boule(s) are nicely browned. Place on rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. You may hear a crackling as your boule(s) cool, don't be alarmed! Its your crust adjusting to the temperature change.
Step 9: Enjoy!
The boys were left with strict instructions to EAT the rest of the bread before I get home from work....Otherwise I will eat a loaf at a time!
Thanks for taking the time to read my Instructable. If you have any questions or I missed anything, or I didn't make sense somewhere please leave me a comment. Just be gentle.