Monday, February 11, 2013

Recipe: Olive Loaf

I have ALWAYS wanted to make bread and then break bread with my family and friends but was a bit too intimidated by the process. It was a good weekend and I must of felt spontaneous because the idea to make this loaf was last minute.
I assumed that making your own bread was a 2-3 hour process and was completely shocked that this 1 loaf took me 7-8 hours to create, but honestly it was worth it. 
I can't wait next time to tackle a sourdough loaf!
What you will need:
2 1/2 cups unbleached hard white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 TBS sugar 
1 1/4 cup water at 95-100°F
3 TBS olive oil + extra for greasing and brushing
2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup olives, coarsely chopped

All of the Steps (Note: Making bread is a MANY hours process, so set aside a good amount of free 
time to make this loaf)
1.Proof the yeast with the water and sugar, cover with cling film and set aside for 10 minutes until active.
2.Whisk together the two flours, add the yeast mixture and mix together with a wooden spoon. 
Mix in the salt and olives. Turn out the dough onto a well floured surface and knead until it is smooth 
and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place on a well oiled bowl, cover in cling film and let rest until it doubles 
in size (about 45 minutes).
3.Punch down the dough and knead well again (about 8 minutes). Place back into bowl (might want to 
oil it before once again), and let rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
4.Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and round. Place it upside down in a bowl lined 
with a well-floured linen (or kitchen towel). Let rise until doubled in size.
5.Meanwhile, place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven (to create a good crust). Preheat the oven 
to 220°C (430°F).
6.Turn out loaf (with extreme care!) onto baking stone or sheet, brush with olive oil and bake for 
15 minutes at 230°C (450°F). Reduce temperature to 375°F and bake for 30 minutes more.
7.Allow to cool completely on a rack.
makes 1 loaf
Some tips I learned.......When you take the bread out of the oven, do place it on a wire wrack. I placed the load on the flat stone surface and the sweat from the heat caused the bottom of the bread to get a bit soggy. Be prepared for the best smell to take over the kitchen! Wait till the bread cools down to slice your first piece. Be prepared to never want to purchase store bought bread again!