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  1. To make the starter: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix the water, yeast, and flour, stirring till the flour is incorporated. Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; the starter will be bubbly. If you make this in the late afternoon, it'll be ready to go by the next morning.

  2. To make the dough: Combine the starter with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead - by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle - to make a soft, smooth dough. If you'd like the olives to remain in larger chunks, knead them in separately, at the end.

  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour; it should have become puffy.

  4. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Knead the olives into the dough.

  5. Pat the dough into a 9" x 8" rectangle. The more careful you are to make the corners of the rectangle square, the nicer your rolls will look.

  6. Cut the dough into six 3" x 4" rectangles.

  7. Take a cotton dish towel (not terry cloth), and sprinkle it heavily with flour, rubbing the flour into the cloth. Set the cloth on a baking sheet.

  8. Space three pieces of dough onto the floured cloth, placing them tight against one long edge of the baking sheet. Push the cloth gently against their exposed edges, then space the remaining three pieces of dough in the same manner, again pushing the cloth against their edges. You're making a floury "cradle" for the rising rolls; check out the blog to see a photo of what this looks like.

  9. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap or a free-standing cover, and allow them to rise for 60 to 90 minutes until they're very puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

  10. Very gently lift the rolls off the cloth and place them, floury side up, on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool.