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Max's Ultra Low Sodium Olive Bread

1 pound of organic unbleached flour.

1 pound of organic whole wheat flour.

1 packet of instant dried yeast.

2 tablespoons of organic maple syrup.

2 tablespoons of organic balsamic vinegar.

3 cups of hot water.

20 organic, pitted, low sodium, Kalamata olives in water. Trader Joe’s has non organic but it's only 130 mgs. per 5 olives. I use 20 so the total sodium count for the entire loaf is 650 mgs. There’s approximately 14 slices per loaf, which equals 46 mgs. per slice. Fantastic.


Whole Foods has organic olives, but the sodium count is around 120 mgs. higher, so it becomes a balance between organic or lower sodium. There’s also the issue of not buying anything in cans, but only glass jars: no BPA to poison you.


Place the flour in a mixing bowl, add the dry yeast and mix with your dough hook or hand whisk.

In a separate bowl, place 3 cups of hot water, but make sure it’s not over 110 degrees. Remember to take out 4 tablespoons that you’ll be replacing with the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. The amount of liquid is critical, so please measure carefully. Because whole wheat has a higher absorption rate, keep the removed 4 tablespoons as you might need to add some back to the mix.


Start your machine, or if you’re making the dough by hand, add the liquid into a pre formed depression in the middle of the flour. Using either your hands or a wooden flat spatula, begin the mixing process. Once the dough is thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl and put it on top of your fridge, or the highest point you can find. Cover with a towel and let it rise for at least two hours.


It should have almost doubled in size and be full of lovely air bubbles. Be nice to them. They’re your best mates when making bread. If the bowel doesn’t have a lid, use plastic wrap, making sure it’s tight. Now stick in the fridge and leave for at least 24 hours. It’ll last for up to seven days, developing more of a yeasty/sour dough flavor.


When you’re ready to make some of this incredible bread, flour up a cutting board. Cut a thin sliver of butter to grease up your hands. Why do this? Because it’ll prevent the dough from sticking to them. Form it into a long loaf, rolls or whatever shape you prefer, and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Clean the cutting board, carefully slide the loaf on and place on top of your fridge, cover with a couple of paper towels and let it rise over the next hour to an hour and a half.

Turn the oven onto 450, about 45 minutes before you’re ready to bake. This ensures even heat, especially important if you have a pizza stone.


Put 6 ice cubes into a measuring cup. Carefully remove the paper towels from the now risen dough and pulling it by the parchment paper, slide it back onto the cutting board.


Open the oven and place in on the center rack or pizza stone. Toss the ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and quickly close the door. Generated steam aids in forming the crust.


Set your timer to twenty-five minutes. Because of the whole wheat and the balsamic, the color will be dark brown when you test the bread. If the toothpick or knife comes out clean, apart from the obvious moisture, it’s ready, but most likely it’ll need another seven to ten minutes. Place on a wire rack, and leave to cool for an hour. Then slice, add lashings of organic, unsalted butter and enjoy.

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