Herb and Olive Bread
Type: Desserts and Baked Goods
Bursting with Mediterranean flavors, this bread is delicious dipped in olive oil
Prep Time: prep 15 mins, plus rising
Cooking Time: cook 25-30 mins
Serves: makes 2 loaves
- 2 cups tepid water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 1 1 / 2 tsp salt
- 4 cups unbleached flour, as needed
- one 1 / 4 oz ( 7g) envelope instant yeast
- 1 cup pitted and coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
- 4 tbsp finely chopped herbs, such as marjoram, parsley, rosemary, or thyme
- Combine the water with the oil and salt in a large bowl. Stir in 3 cups of the flour and the yeast, then enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, adding more flour as needed, for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and supple. Pat and stretch the dough into a thin rectangle. Sprinkle the olives and herbs over the dough. Roll the dough into a cylinder, then knead for a few more minutes until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a ball.
- Lightly oil a bowl. Add the dough and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place about 11/4 hours, or until doubled in volume.
- Dust a large baking sheet with flour. Punch down the dough, turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Cut the dough in half. Shape each into a log about 10in (25cm) long and pinch the seams closed. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet and press down lightly. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand about 30 minutes, or until puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly brush the loaves with oil. Use a sharp knife to score 5 shallow slits on top of each. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
- prep 15 mins, plus rising; cook 25-30 mins
Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright Â© 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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