The art of bread making can become a consuming hobby, and no matter how often and how many kinds of bread one has made, there always seems to be something new to learn. Julia Child
I have to say, bread baking has always been very therapeutic for me. The process is almost meditative. The whole cycle of mixing simple flour and water, kneading it , letting go to let the yeast do its magic. It’s like a little story unfolding in front of you. A warm fresh loaf of bread like this EASY OLIVE BREAD is the reward for your patience and believe me, the feeling is euphoric! Oh yes, I sure can wax eloquent about baking breads!
I got this recipe from WILLIAMS – SONOMA ESSENTIALS OF BAKING . If you are an unsure baker ( or even a proficient one), this book is for you. Its got the basics of every technique down to a pat. Each recipe has been explained very well and it great detail. So, my friends, this really deserves a place in your kitchen.
Now this is a foolproof recipe, very simple to put together. The salty olives, sundried tomatoes and slivers of garlic are added to the basic dough and then left to proof. They impart an excellent flavour to this loaf, making it soft and rich tasting. Warm and crusty, it’s the kind of bread you can proudly serve with some good quality olive oil, maybe a small salad and feel like a domestic goddess!
Should you decide to toast it and smear it with butter ,or make a sandwich out of it or make a bruschetta with pesto & tomatoes, I won’t mind at all! 🙂
- I kept the original recipe pretty much intact. Just swapped half the quantity of all-purpose flour with wholewheat flour.
- While the original recipe has only olives, I used sundried tomatoes and garlic too.
- Next time I bake this bread, I would happily add another 1/4 cup of olives to the mix. The recipe below mentions the quantity I used this time.
- Please use very good quality olives here. They will impact the flavour of your bread tremendously.
As all good things must be shared, here’s the recipe for this EASY OLIVE BREAD. I’d love to hear from you. Please do rate and comment below! You can also FOLLOW ME on INSTAGRAM , PINTEREST and FACEBOOK for more fabulous recipes!
Easy Olive Bread
- 1.5 cups All purpose flour
- 1.5 cups Wholewheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3.5 tsp Dry active Yeast
- 1 cup Lukewarm water You may need more
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin Olive oil
- 3/4 cup Olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup Sundried tomato, roughly chopped
- 8 cloves Garlic, slivered
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast with the water. Let stand for 5 minutes until foamy.
- Add the oil, flours, and the salt and stir with your hand or a wooden spoon until a rough ball forms.
- Flour your work surface well, turn out the scraggy dough on to it. Knead it till its smooth and elastic, for about 5-7 minutes.
- Sprinkle the olives, sundried tomatoes and garlic on top of the dough and knead them into the dough gently and briefly. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and leave the dough to rise in a warm, draft- free spot until it doubles, 1 -1.5 hours
- Punch down the dough and turn it out on a floured surface. Knead it briefly and gently again. Cut the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, shape it into a smooth ball and place it on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other half.
- Cover the loaves loosely with a kitchen towel and let them rise in a draft free spot for 30-40 minutes, until they double in size.
- Preheat your oven to 230C. Make 2-3 slashes with a sharp knife on the loaves. Put the tray in the oven and lower the heat to 220C. Bake the loaves for 30-40 minutes or until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Transfer to wire racks and let cool for at least an hour before slicing them.