Of all the wonderful foods I am fortunate to enjoy, none give me more pleasure than the simple combination of bread, wine, cheese and olives. Tonight, as I sat up reading Michael Pollan’s new book, Cooked, I had just finished part of his exposition about bread-making, and his learnings from the marvels of Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread. It was 10 PM and time for a late evening snack. Barbara had just toasted a whole wheat bagel and added a light coating of Tofutti Cream Cheese. So I entered the kitchen and went to my favorite old standby: bread, cheese, wine and olives.
It’s easy when you have it all there. A few days ago I made one of my favorite Tartine recipes, an Olive-Walnut Bread, this time in my new Bread Pot. The flour mixture was 70/20/10 of KAF Bread Flour, home-milled whole hard winter wheat, and home-milled durum flour — all organic. Made from a mixture of green Arnaud French and black Greek Kalamata olives, and toasted, chopped organic walnuts from California, this multi-whole-grain bread came out rich, moist and dense. Due to the Bread Pot, it had lots of “Oven Spring”.
When toasted well, the crust crisps nicely. I made one slice, cut it in half, and drizzled on a little olive oil and salt. I then added a slice of Jarlsberg cheese to each half, while still warm so the cheese started to melt slightly. I spread a little organic olive paste from black Italian olives on one of the halves, before adding the cheese. I opened a bottle of 2006 Chianti Classico and indulged for the ten minutes it took to remember why I love this combination so much. Happy to share with you, although I wish you could taste it.