The flavors in this rustic Rosemary Olive Bread made for an out of the ordinary, irresistible loaf! And the aroma from the oven was incredibly enticing.
Love at First Bite
Growing up, I would have balked at a slice of bread speckled with Kalamata olives. Granted, I was a fan of the hum drum olives of the 70’s. Dumped out of a can or jar onto a crudite platter for the holidays, olives always trumped radishes and celery. But it was decades later that I had my first bit of an olive studded bread. It took me a moment to decipher the mystery flavor, but I was an instant fan.
The Magic Combination: Rosemary and Olives
The recipe I used for guidance called for baking in a cloche. Well, first of all, I didn’t know what that was. And, obviously, I didn’t own one. Made of clay, a cloche will hold the steam that’s produced during baking creating a crusty exterior and soft interior. I had previously baked bread in my Le Creuset Dutch oven, so I figured it would make a reasonable substitution. I put a half cup of chopped olives along with some minced rosemary to flavor this loaf. Bill, not exactly a fan of any olive besides the classic green with a red pimento center, gave this bread high praise. I truly didn’t expect a positive reaction. I loved dipping my slices in seasoned extra virgin olive oil, but would have add more olives next time. This recipe bakes into quite a large loaf and I’d appreciate an even more intense olive flavor. Though that might backfire as the more subtle olive taste was Bill approved!
Twelve Loaves for February
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and run with the help of Heather of girlichef, which runs smoothly with the help of our bakers.
Our host this month is Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories, and our theme is Olives. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves New Year Challenge Breads!
- Black Olive Focaccia from Baking in Pyjamas
- Eliopsomo (Greek Olive Bread) from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Greek Bread from NinjaBaker.com
- No-Knead Green Olive and Feta Flatbread from Rhubarb and Honey
- No Knead Olive Bread from Cake Duchess
- Olive and Tomato Focaccia from Never Enough Thyme
- Olive Campagne Boule from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Olive Oil Crackers from Ma Che Ti Sei Mangiato
- Olive Tapenade Focaccia from girlichef
- Rosemary Olive Bread from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Bread from A Baker’s House
If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Olive Bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!
- 2½ teaspoons instant yeast (Red Star Premium preferred)
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- ½ cup (or more) pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
- 5 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the yeast and water. Add the olives, flours, rosemary, and salt. Mix on medium speed until the dough is soft and smooth, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn out onto to a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and shape into a tight ball, pinching the seams closed.
- Place the loaf in a large, lightly greased cast iron Dutch oven and dust the top with flour. Cover with the lid and let rise 40 minutes.
- Using a serrated knife, slash a shallow X across the top of the loaf. Preheat an oven to 400°.
- Cover and bake (put foil around lid knob if not oven safe up to 400º) until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 1 hour.
- Cool, slice and eat with butter or seasoned olive oil.
- Makes 1 loaf.