This bread is freaking amazing
and so addictive.
Since first beginning to tweak it a month or so ago,
I've baked it at least twice every week.
It is super easy to make into one or two loaves- great to bring over for dinner or drop off at a friend's. Brighten someone's day... and/or make yourself popular.
Loosely based off of this mediterranean bread.
4 cups flour
1 cup olive juice (drained from the can of olives) + 1/4 cup water, warmed
3 T olive oil
2 T sugar
1 t salt
3 heaping t yeast
1 can black olives
handfuls of fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
Make dough in bread machine, using all ingredients but the egg and sea salt and leaving olives whole*. If making dough by hand: chop olives in half, mix all ingredients but the egg and sea salt, knead five-10 minutes, rest 45 min, repeat kneading and resting.
After dough is out of bread machine, punch it down, then allow to rise until about double in size, 30-45 min.
Isn't it gorgeous? Don't you just want to hang out in my kitchen baking bread to Mumford & Sons every afternoon? Welcome to my life.
Heat oven to 425 and place on bottom shelf a pan filled with water**.
Form dough into one or two round loaves and place on cookie sheet.
Whisk the egg with a little bit of water and brush over loaf/loaves.
Sprinkle sea salt liberally over loaf/loaves.
Place dough on a shelf above the water and bake at 425 for 15 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 375 and bake 25-30 more minutes (if only making one large loaf, 30-35).
Bring the beautiful, golden, fragrant loaf to family, friends, and neighbors and enjoy as they all profess their undying love and devotion to you.
community dinner a couple weeks ago.
I brought some to my next-door neighbors the day before we signed my lease for next year (they are also my landlords), and I heard later that after taking a bite Mark turned to Kara
and said "Okay... she can stay."
*I like having larger chunks of of olives in the bread. In my bread machine, even if I leave them completely whole they were chopped finely by the time the dough was made. If making the dough by hand, they still get broken up but into bigger pieces.
**Leaving the pan of water in the bottom of the oven is a trick to make steam create the crunchy crust while leaving the inside soft; making it extra hot the first 15 minutes and then lowering the heat also helps with this.