Thursday, April 27, 2006

Olive and Rosemary Bread

There’s something deeply satisfying about making bread. Something about squelching all that dough in your hands and waiting for the miracle of yeast to work its magic … twice. Then the smell and rapture of freshly baked bread, steam rising as the knife crunches through the crust, cleaving the airy centre. Butter or oil soaking into the feathery dough. While any sort of bread is nice to make, and the antediluvian pleasures of its baking and eating quite universal, if I go to the effort I like to attempt something flavoured. I’ve always had a knack with yeast cooking. Yeast likes me and I like it, so we work well together. This one is particularly tasty – a slightly wet and pliable dough that makes a well-risen free-form, focaccia like loaf, bursting with some of my favourite flavours.
3 cups plain flour
¾ tablespoon of bread improver
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 sachet (8g) instant dried yeast
¼ cup olive oil
1 ¼ cups luke warm water
1/3 cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary spikes/leaves
2 tsp coarse salt extra.

Combine flour sugar yeast and salt in a bowl and pour the water and oil into a well in the centre. Stir to combine ‘til it comes together and turn out and knead for 4-5 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and stand in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size. Inch it back and knead again for a few minutes and form into a rough rectangle on a tray lined with baking paper. Stud the olives and rosemary over the top and leave to prove for 30 minutes. Brush the top with a little oil, spinkle the extra salt on top and bake at 220°C (fanforced) for about 15 minutes or until golden on top.

I also cut into very thin slices and toasted it the next day for a satisfying and crunchy snack with drinks.

(Recipe inspired by SFI March 2006).


Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Mmm this reminds me of the olive, rosemary and salt crust flatbread from Bourke Street bakery. Looks tasty!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Reb said...

Unfortunately mine's not quite as light and fluffy, but it still does the trick! And I just adore those flavours!

1:39 PM  
Blogger Ange said...

Agreed, love olive & rosemary bread & could eat it every day, yours looks delicious too

10:12 AM  
Blogger deborah said...

i was about to say the same thing. i had a delicious focaccia sandwich the other day... delicious because the top was brushed with a rosemary olive oil before it was toasted. i am still thinking of that golden crunch.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just finished baking this bread and it is so delicious and the perfect recipe! I made a slight variation to the recipe by mixing the olives and rosemary *into* the bread, rather than just having it on top and it is lovely and fragrant :)

1:31 AM  

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