Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Olive Bread

One of my favorite things to do in Germany was to visit the local bakery. All their bread was yummy, but my favorite was olive bread. It was snack when Kaitlyn and I would go grocery shopping on the German economy. Like every toddler, she knew the routine. As soon as we finished at the cash register, she'd start asking to go to the bakery. Now that we've been back in American for a few months, I'm starting to jones for some olive bread. Olive bread is an amazing snack, I'm sure you could serve it to compliment another dish, but it never lasted that long at my house. We eat it up too fast.

3 cups bread flour
1 packet of active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup olives, roughly chopped*
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon cornmeal

*The original recipe calls for black olives, but you can really use any kind of olive. The olives in the bread in German were big green olives that were bursting with flavor. For this recipe, I used Tassos Mediterranean Olives.

1.In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, salt, black olives, olive oil, and water.
2.Turn out dough onto a your floured kitchen counter. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside, and let rise about 45 minutes, until it doubles in size. Punch down. Knead well again, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Let rise for about 30 minutes, until it doubles in size.
3.Round the dough on your kitchen counter. Place upside down in a bowl lined with a lint-free, well floured towel. Let rise until double in size.
4.While the bread is rising for the third time, put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
5.Gently turn loaf out onto a sheet pan that has been lightly oiled and dusted with cornmeal.
6.Bake loaf at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 more minutes, or until done.

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