Monday, June 11, 2012

Olive bread

Olive bread

Anybody can make bread, it's a fact. Combine some flour, water, yeast and some oil or butter and voilá you have made your bread. Every baker you talk to says that bread is a science, which is true but the truth is you just need confidence and lots of practice.

This recipe I created was based on a normal bread dough but I  have changed some parts of the recipe to put my own twist on it. Olive bread should be encasing a mountain salty olives and surrounded by a crunchy crust that encases that fresh bread smell. All you bakers out there know what I am talking about, that earthy smell of victory that your dough has succeeded.

The recipe was inspired by my brothers, they love it when I make Focaccia but now they want something different. Surprise, surprise!! I had to create a recipe that had the same textures like a Focaccia but a dough that they could just munch on. When this bread comes out of the oven, it fills the house up with the unique 'bread scent' . Which to me is like a Mexican wave for success.


1.Measure on a weighing scale 450g of strong white bread and sieve into a deep bowl. Add 2tbsp of soft unsalted butter, 2tsp of salt, 2 sachets of yeast and 300ml of warm water.

2. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Then measure out 100ml of water and slowly add to the dough a little at a time, until you have used all the water. Then mix for 5 mins.  Make sure you add all the water this help create a variety of air hole or bread bubbles to make it really light.

3. The texture of the dough at this point is really sticky and weird for a bread dough. Now, remove your wooden spoon and spread some flour on your worktop ready for kneading.

4. Knead the dough for 8 mins and keep flouring your worktop if the dough sticks. Oil your Kneading is done by using the palm of your hand and pushing the dough away from you and then you fold it over and repeat the process. (at this point you can add olives(130g), sundried tomatoes(100g), cheese(100g))

5. Once kneaded place back into your bowl with a tea towel covering it and allow to prove for 1 hour in a warm place.

6. Once the dough has doubled in size, cut the dough in half and make the dough a circle and flatten it. After that, with a sharp knife make a cross on top of your bread.(This makes the bread look fancy and professional) Then place on a heavy baking tray and prove for 1 hour in a warm place.

7.Preheat the oven to 220°C.After 1 hour slowly peel off your tea towel from the bread and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown.

8. Once the bread is cooked allow to rest for 10-15 mins on a wirerack. My theory with bread is you allow it to rest, to get perfect result. Enjoy J

This recipe can be altered to meet your craving needs from different flavour combinations from sundried tomatoes,to fresh herbs, to crispy bacon with blue cheese but please don't go crazy. Sometimes, with bread the simplest  flavour combo is the one you keep making and making over and over again.

I made 2 loaves yesterday and now they are gone! When something is that good they will not stop eating it !

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