Okay, so if you are a purist you might not like what I did to the Parmesan Olive bread recipe on the No-Knead Bread Variations page, since I cheaped out on some of the ingredients and still got a sort of astonishingly datable  loaf of bread:

Cheap Thrills Olive Parmesan

Cheap Thrills Olive Parmesan

First of all, I didn’t get the good parmesan cheese where you grate it up, mainly because I don’t even know if we have a cheese grater. I’m sure we do but as a rookie baker I’m still a visitor in the kitchen and my wife was at work so I just went with the oh-so-convenient perfectly sized 7 ounce plastic bottle of grated parmesan.

Probably not perfect but I had more shopping to do, and considering that the recipe describes this loaf as so wildly expensive that you would probably only bake it for a prospective mother-in-law while you were still trying to marry the girl, I was worried about how much the Kalamata olives were going to cost.

Sure enough when the HyVee helpful smile in every aisle person showed me where the olives were, the pricing was somewhat on the order of investor items. Something like gold futures. Like around 8 dollars a bottle.

I should mention that I’m a  rookie shopper, too, when it comes to baking supplies (but really good at other essentials, like Power Bars and Gatorade). Your experienced cook/shopper, reading this (if they have managed to swallow their horror at what I have done already, and kept reading) will be thinking “Dear Hopeless Rookie, you should have looked for the bulk olives…”

It’s very possible that our HyVee had bulk olives but since:

  • I didn’t have the recipe with me so I was worried that just the olives in this thing were going to cost a collection of essential appendages
  • My wife had already told me she didn’t think she’d be into the olive bread
  • She is also the budget chairperson
  • It’s against the Man Laws to ask directions more than once a day

I went for (drum roll) the regular cheap black olives that you can get piled (lightly, darn it)  on your sandwich at Subway.

Did I mention that I don’t like any other kind of olives anyway? Even Popeye’s girlfriend never really did it for me.

Or anyone else that I know, really.

In any case, the generic black O’s in a can still needed to be sliced in half, which makes a guy feel like he is sort of like, actually cooking, since he  is  touching some kind of  food thing before heating it up, and (in this case) also resisted the temptation to just throw them in whole. Of course, cutting up the little slipperies means you get more olive effect for your 2/3 cup, so that paid off.

Ready to go. Here's your chance. Bring butter.

Ready to go. Here’s your chance. Bring butter.

So, I saved probably 6 bucks on a loaf that I think the wife may  like after all. Admittedly it’s not that big on olive-y flavor, due to the GIGO rule of computer programming, but it has that parmesano thing in a big way and I only wish you all could be here right now to have a slice.

Cheap Thrills

Earlier Comments

8 thoughts on “Cheap Thrills

  1. Hello. I get no oven rise with my parmesan/olive loaf. do you think some dough enhancer, say a 2 tables spoons may help with the oven rise? any suggestions appreciated. happy holidays and happy baking.

  2. jim

    Is it possible to double the basic 18 hour bread amounts to fit the round and oblong La Cloche? I don’t find any videos when these are used.

  3. Heather

    Cassandra, I don’t buy bread flour, I buy all purpose and keep wheat gluten in the pantry. To make bread flour I replace 1 tablespoon per cup of the all purpose flour gluten flour.

  4. Looks delicious! Makes me think of the Greek olive bread called eliopsomo.

    I have a bread flour question…I have all-purpose flour, and I have vital wheat gluten. Is there a way I can use those 2 things to make bread flour?

  5. Great story, sorry I missed the bread!

  6. gayle

    I made this “frugal recipe: yesterday. It turned out delicious and perfect. Because of the 7 ounces of cheese, I had more dough and stiffer, but, I added a little more water. Perfect!! Now, I want to try the real deal, with kalamata olives. Thanks for an entertaining read and a great recipe. Gayle

  7. hbgrrl

    I always keep a jar of olive tapenade in my fridge. A couple of T’s spread on the dough, then rolled up jelly-roll style, gives fantastic results.

  8. Wil Rice

    That’s too funny! I made the real thing last week and by now what’s left (very little) has all sorts of weird things and colors growing on it. I can’t bring myself to throwing it away because of what I have invested.


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