From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The last of the Christmas decorations came down today, and while the house looks bare with all the garlands and ornaments gone, the time had come. I'd left them up much longer than usual for friends who joined us on Friday evening for our annual "Christmas" get-together. For reasons I still don't understand, it takes me longer to put things away than it does to put them up. Knowing the job would take a chunk out of my day, I decided it would be a great time to make a pot of soup and watch bread rise. I found a recipe on The Wanderlust Kitchen for an olive bread that was unusually easy to make, and thought this would be a great time to give it a try. I was really pleased with the results. The recipe makes a peasant loaf that is earthy and well-flavored and a perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup. It is also very easy to make. As a matter of fact, a stand mixer does all the work we normally associate with bread making. I did make a small change to the recipe. Steam is required to make a soft and golden crust on peasant loaves. Rather than add water to a hot pan when the bread went into the oven, I sprayed the surface of the loaf and the sides of the oven with water. It is an easier and safer way to create steam and, in my opinion, it produces the same lovely crust as the water pan method. I do hope you will give this bread a try. I love its crust and crumb and will make it again when I need a savory bread to serve with soup or stew. I think you will like it too. Here is how the bread is made.
Easy Olive Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by The Wanderlust Kitchen
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2-3//4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
1) Combine yeast, flour, salt, garlic powder, water and oil in bowl of an electric mixer. Use a spatula to loosely combine ingredients. Let sit for 15 minutes. und
2) Fold in olives and using a dough hook attachment knead on medium speed for 5 minutes. If necessary sprinkle with a little extra flour if dough does not leave sides of bowl and begin to climb dough hook.
3) Transfer kneaded dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 60 minutes in a warm place.
4) Punch dough down, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape into a loaf. Allow to rise for another 60 minutes.
5) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a second baking sheet on the bottom rack. Dust loaf with flour and use a serrated knife to make three shallow cuts across the top.
6) Place baking sheet containing dough on middle rack of oven. Toss a half cup of water onto hot baking sheet on bottom rack and close door. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf.
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