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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Friday, March 09, 2007

Easy Olive & Herb Bread

There is a recipe for Olive-Rosemary Bread in the March & April 2007 issue of Cook's Illustrated that looks fabulous. But it also looks very involved. And I want to make it with Julia. So when I happened to stumble across a much more simple recipe for similar bread on the website for Eating Well magazine, I decided to go for it.

I made a half recipe, which is one loaf. It's not as handsome as the NYT No Knead Bread. And I suspect it isn't as good as the Cook's Illustrated version of Olive-Rosemary Bread. But it's quick, it's easy, and it's quite nice with a glass of red wine.

Easy Olive & Herb Bread

Adapted from Nancy Baggett in Eating Well magazine
Yield: 1 loaf
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 1/4-4 1/2 hours (depending on rising times)

¾ T. (about 1 packet) active dry yeast or 1/2 T. quick-rising yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm (100-105°F) water
1 ¼ cups hot (110-115°F) water
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 T olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 ½ T sugar
¾ tsp dried herbs (herbs de provence) or 3 ½ T minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/8 tsp. salt
1 ½ cup plus 2 T. whole-wheat flour, plus a little more for dusting (I used cornmeal to dust)
1/3 cup well-drained, pitted and finely chopped black olives

  • In a 1-cup measure, sprinkle yeast over 1/3 cup lukewarm water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the yeast dissolves.

  • Place all-purpose flour, oil, sugar, herbs and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the 1 ¼ cups hot water with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended and smooth. Slowly beat in the yeast mixture until evenly incorporated. Gradually raise the speed to medium (or almost to the point the mixture begins to splatter), and beat for 4 minutes if using a heavy-duty stand mixer or 5 minutes if using a hand mixer.

  • Stir whole-wheat flour and olives into the dough until evenly incorporated; the dough will be sticky and wet. Turn out the dough into a very large lightly oiled bowl. Lightly brush the top of the dough with olive oil until evenly covered. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot until the dough doubles in bulk, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Generously coat a round 1 1/2- to 2-quart (6- to 8-cup capacity) ovenproof casserole or soufflé dish with cooking spray. Coat your hand with cooking spray; press down the dough in the bowl, scrape it into the prepared baking dish. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top. With your fingertips, smooth out the dough and evenly brush it with the oil. Sprinkle with a spoonful of flour or cornmeal. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm spot until the dough rises to the plastic wrap, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours (depending on the temperature of your room).

  • Remove the plastic wrap; let the dough rise until it's 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the rim, 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

  • Transfer to the middle of the oven. Bake until the top is nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from the dish (run a table knife around the edge to loosen if necessary), place right side up on a baking sheet, and continue baking until well browned on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

    At 3/10/2007 7:58 PM, Blogger Sheri said...


    At 12/22/2009 5:29 PM, Blogger Ciber said...

    I've been following your blog for quite a while and enjoying your wealth of good recipes. When Foodista announced that they are going to publish the best food blogs in a full color book that will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing Fall 2010, I naturally thought of you. This recipe would be a good submission! You can enter here: http://www.foodista.com/blogbook/submit


    Editor and Community Developer
    Foodista.com -- The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit


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