Monday, April 27, 2009

Olive Bread

We have dabbled in bread making a little. Once, we made the NY Times "no knead bread" but it came out tasting sort of yeasty or something. A co-worker of Sarah's told her he made olive bread. We had recently purchased a delicious baguette of olive bread from the store, so we thought, sure, why not try and make our own. It seems we are up to the challenge to see what we can make for ourselves. We like to bring sandwiches to work for lunch. If we can master a good bread, that would be very helpful. We were a little nervous about making olive bread. We used all of these really delicious olives. What if it didn't turn out right? We were pleasantly surprised that it turned out great.


4 cups flour - We used Ceresota flour this time, it is very soft.
1 packet yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup olives - Measure and then chop, but you can really put in as many as you like.
1 1/4 cups luke-warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a bowl.

Now, add in the chopped olives, warm water and olive oil. We didn't use a mixer, but some recipes call for a mixer. We got down and dirty and used our hands. We mixed it up and worked it into a ball. You can knead it in the bowl, just work it around until it forms a ball. Whenever we make bread, it doesn't look perfect, so don't get nervous. Once you have it formed into a ball, pour a little olive oil into the bowl and roll the ball around in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for about 30 minutes. It should double in size.

You can decide if you want to make baguettes or just a round loaf. We wanted to make baguettes, but they turned out a little more like small loafs, which worked out great. Once you shape it how you want. Let it sit for another 30 minutes, it will double again in size.

Here comes a little bit of the tricky part. You want to heat your oven to 400 degrees. While it is heating up, place a pan with sides on the bottom rack. Once the oven is heated you will put the bread on the middle rack and then right before you shut the oven door, you will pour 2 cups of water into the pan on the bottom rack. This creates steam for the bread to cook in.

Bake for about 30 minutes. When we took it out it seemed really hard, but it softened as it cooled.

Bread making really isn't that hard, and it makes for a great sandwich. Check out the salami, turkey, lettuce, cheese and mustard sandwich we had for lunch on Sunday. Delicious!

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