Cookbooks are one of my biggest weaknesses. I wish we had more space at home for a mini library of sorts! I found a cookbook on sale at Border’s for $3. Seriously. Three. I picked it up, and saw a recipe for Olive Bread. Done. I had to have it!
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. The pictures were quite good though. It’s called ‘Tastes Of The Mediterranean’ by Confident Cooking. Never heard of them! But what the heck, if it doesn’t work it’s no big deal.
I found a recipe for olive bread in there. I love olive bread. LOVE. I usually buy a loaf from Trader Joe’s, toast it lightly and have it with a salty Chilli olive oil dip. I can easily finish off half a loaf all by myself. I’ve been dying to try and bake some on my own for a while now. Fortunately I had all the ingredients at home (I’m the type that stores packets of active yeast at home for ‘emergencies’). What could be nicer than the smell of freshly baked bread on a warm sunny saturday morning? Our day was perfect – started off with Olive bread bruschetta, shopped at Crate & Barrel, a trip to the local nursery followed by a run at a nearby lake!
That said, this recipe does not disappoint. I was very happy with the results!
I usually like this bread warm, with an olive oil dip. It’s just oil, chilli flakes and a bit of salt. I also made some bruschetta. That was pretty good too! Enjoy!
- Flour - 375 g (3 cups), All purpose + 2 tsp for dusting
- Active Dry Yeast - 7 g (1/4 oz) sachet
- sugar - 2 tsp
- Olives - 110 g ( 3 3/4 oz) kalamata
- Oregano - 1 sprig, fresh.
- Olive oil - to glaze
- Place 1 cup of the flour in a large bowl and stir in 1 tsp of salt. Place the yeast, sugar and 250 ml (1 cup) warm water in a small bowl and mix well. Add to the flour and stir to make a thin, lumpy paste. Cover with a tea towel. Leave in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Stir in the remaining flour, oil and 125 ml(1/2 cup) warm water. Mix with a wooden spoon until a rough dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-12 minutes, incorporating as little extra flour as possible to keep the dough soft and moist but not sticky. Form into a ball. Oil a clean large bowl and roll the dough around in it to lightly coat the oil. Cut a cross on top, cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Grease a baking tray and dust with flour. Punch down the dough on a lightly floured surface, Roll out to a 30cm*25cm*1cm (12" x 10" x1/2") rectangle. Squeeze any excess liquid from the olives and toss to coat in the extra flour. Scatter over the dough and top with oregano. Roll up tightly length-ways, pressing firmly to expel any air pockets. Press the ends together to for an oval loaf 10 inches long. Transfer to the tray, seam-side down. Slide the tray into a large plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 45 min or until doubled.
- Preheat the oven to 220 deg C (425 F). Brush the top of the loaf with oil and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180 deg C (350 f) and bake for a further 5. Cool on a wire rack.
- Serve warm or cold.