But we'd be missing out on a lot if we didn't get down to our two favourite Toronto markets at least once a Summer too. First off, we head on down to the Brickworks to see what's on offer from Vicki's Veggies, the cheese purveyors from Best Baa Dairy and Monforte Dairy, and buy probably my favourite mushrooms ever at the Fun Guy Farm stall. Even though it's usually only about 10AM when we leave there, I still always make sure to get my stevia-sweetened lemonade too - it is way too good to pass up and it's only once a year!
After our jaunt to the Brickworks, the normal progression of events is to head on down to the city centre to visit the most famous of the Toronto markets - the St. Lawrence! We love it for their delis (especially the pickles at Scheffler's!) and their huge assortment of fish and seafood, fresh and looking just as good as when the boat brought them in. But downstairs, mom's resolve is tested in no small way! That's where you'll find Stonemill Bakehouse's shop, and when you first walk into the vicinity the aroma that hits you is nothing short of divine. Because the bread (and pastries!) are just that good, if you don't swipe up what you want at the beginning of the day, you're likely leaving without it at the end.
That's exactly what happened to my mom, which (as she put it) was a blessing in disguise since otherwise she'd have left with the whole store! After having been tempted by the (apparently) amazing olive loaves at St. John's Bakery in the Brickworks (I say apparently because I've never tried it, abhorring both olives and cilantro!), and finding none at the St. Lawrence, she still couldn't get it out of her head a week later! I decided that I'd make her one that would be a little less guilt-inducing than an all-white flour loaf but with all the flavour and texture of the artisan creation. Whole wheat bread flour and a little sourdough starter was my jumping-off point, which I added cornmeal, potato flour, an instant yeast booster and some honey to before packing it full of olivey goodness with the fruitiest olive oil I could find in the house along with two types of olives. About half the total olive content was your standard deli Kalamatas, the rest were dried Botija olives that I found on the olive bar packed in olive oil. It was a royal pain to pit them all (once I found out that the "pitted" and "with pits" sections in the olive bar at the store had been mixed up) but the end result? Gold.
I mixed up a fairly moist dough with the simple ingredients and decided that it would fit best as a boule, to maximize the crust potential. I also opted for a bit of steam in the beginning, and if my pizza stone hadn't broken the last time I tried to heat it to 450F I would have used that! Even then, the loaf came out looking and smelling like any other artisan bakery's offering, and according to my mom it was my best loaf yet!
I'm sending this to Susan's YeastSpotting event this week as well as this month's Bake Your Own Bread round-up, and humbly suggest you use Sunday's Tomato Confit to enjoy it!
Olive Semi - Sourdough Boule
Makes 1 large boule, 20 slices
4 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/3 cup fine cornmeal
1/3 cup potato flour
1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp dried basil
2/3 cup mature (fed) sourdough starter
2 cups warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
175g sun-dried olives (ideally) or Kalamata olives packed in oil, drained, pitted and chopped roughly
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, potato flour, yeast, fennel seed and basil.
- Add the sourdough starter, water, oil and honey.
- Begin kneading with the dough hook on low speed.
- Knead for 10 minutes, then add the olives and knead 2 minutes more.
- Cover and let rest 45 minutes.
- Stir down and scrape into a bowl lined with a well-floured tea towel or a round brotform.
- Cover and let rest 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450F and place a pan of hot water on the lowest rack.
- Place a greased baking sheet over the loaf in the bowl and flip out. Remove the towel.
- Slash the top of the loaf 3-4 times and place in the oven.
- Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400F and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan of water and continue baking for 30 minutes longer.
- Slide immediately onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
Total Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 154.6 mg
Total Carbs: 24.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
Protein: 4.1 g