Friday, November 11, 2011

A Homemade Favorite: Olive Bread

One of my all-time favorite things to do is go to Marvelous Market to buy their Olive Batard (or Olive Mini if it's just for me.) The subtle flavor of the black olives is perfect with large hunks of cheese. Especially with Port Salut.

Tomorrow night Ken and I are headed to a dinner party with my new coworkers, and I'm bringing my own version of an olive batard. And of course, I'm also bringing a wedge of cheese. Here's my recipe.

Olive Batard

oven temp: 395 degrees
time: 25-35 minutes
serves: 2 loaves

3 1/4 cups plain flour + rye (or wheat) flour as needed
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 sachet active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 can kalamata olives, chopped, juice retained
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp crushed caraway seeds and black peppercorns

*Place flour, salt, yeast, and sugar into a large mixing bowl and combine well.
*Add the olive juice, water, olive oil, and mix (either by hand or using a kitchen-aid mixer with the bread hook on low). Add rye flour slowly as needed until a dough forms. Knead for 5-10 minutes.
*Add chopped olives and fold through the dough then cover with cling wrap and let set for 60 minutes in an area not exposed to a draft.
*Dust counter or cutting board surface with flour and empty dough onto the surface. Knock air out of dough and briefly knead until smooth.
*Cut dough in half and roll each portion into a large roll. Cut slits into the top of the rolls. Fill slits and cover the top with the mixture of crushed caraway seeds and black pepper. Lightly add sea salt to the top as well. Pat seasonings gently into the dough to keep them from falling off while baking.
*Cover with tented tin foil and put in a 395 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove the tin foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the top is browned. If the loaves are still soft in the middle, turn oven off while leaving the loaves inside, allowing the loaves to set inside the slowly cooling oven.

Serve warm with port salut or any other cheese you like.

*Note: you can also simply make one large loaf, which will bake with tented tinfoil for 25-30 minutes, and then another 10 without the foil.

Happy Baking,

-Domestic in the District

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