Friday, December 30, 2011

Double Bread Heaven!

This recipe was divine. I followed suggestions about increasing the amount of olives (I used one cup), adding garlic/herbs and lowering the temperature (The original recipe said 500 and many people complained of burnt bread). You could taste the garlic, it was a nice addition but I could not taste the Italian herbs. Another suggestion was to had 1/2 cup parmesan cheese which would be fun to try! People had good results with all sorts of different olives but I used kalamata because they are my all time favorite.

However, it was not all rainbows and sunshine. I had some issues with the dough. I didn't feel like it was rising properly and it was very sticky. I had reduced the amount of time I kneaded it because I was using my Kitchen Aid and the book says to do that, my yeast proofed wonderfully....I had no idea what was wrong! After I footballed it like a squishy newborn from the bowl to the pan while shouting "Geronimo!" (where it didn't hold it's shape well) I was convinced that it was going to be a disaster. So while it was baking I whipped up some English Muffin Loaf again because 1) we were all out 2) I like eating it all the time with jam or honey or toasted with peanut butter 3) I wanted to stay in my apron because it's super comfy 4) I was looking for an excuse to use Reggie the Kitchen Aid again. Lo and behold the Olive Bread came out okay and I had an extra bonus loaf of English Muffin Bread! The very center of the loaf is a bit moist so it might have needed a few more minutes or it could have been attributed to my dough issues. 
Mediterranean Black Olive Bread
(adapted from
3 cups bread flour (I used all purpose)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1/2 to 1 cup chopped olives, roughly chopped (amount and type depend on personal taste)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, garlic, herbs, black olives, and olive oil. In a second bowl proof your yeast with warm water and sugar. After the yeast is proofed, combine with flour mixture.
2. Turn out dough onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside, and let rise about 45 minutes, until it doubles in size. Punch down. Knead well again, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Let rise for about 30 minutes, until it doubles in size.
3. Round the dough on kneading board. Place upside down in a bowl lined with a lint-free, well floured towel. Let rise until double in size.
4. While the bread is rising for the third time, put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 450.
5. Gently turn loaf out onto a sheet pan that has been lightly oiled and dusted with cornmeal.
6. Bake loaf at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 more minutes, or until done.
Double Bread Heaven! 

No comments:

Post a Comment