Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Olive This Bread

I'm crazy for the olive bars that are popping up in the nicer grocery stores across the country.  But, I always end up buying more than I really need.  Since not all the varieties I end up with taste good in martinis, I decided to whip up some olive bread.

Olive Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1 package of active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp white sugar
2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup seeded, chopped olives (any variety)

In bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and warm water.  Let proof.

In large bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup flour, melted butter, and milk.  Add foaming yeast to dry ingredients.  Stir well.

Add chopped olives and stir.

Add another 1 1/4 cups flour to make a soft dough, stirring.  Turn out the dough onto a floured surface.  Depending on how sticky it is, you may need to add another 1/4 cup of flour as you knead.

Knead until it is no longer sticky.  Cover and let rise on floured surface for about 10 minutes.  Make sure the space isn't too drafty.

Now, get it ready for baking.  I baked my loaf free-form on a baking stone.  So, I just shaped it a bit and placed it on the stone.  If you want to use a loaf pan, roll up the dough tightly...seal up the ends by pinching down at the loaf, seam facing down in a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Cover completely and allow it to rise in a warmish, draft-free place until doubled.  This usually takes about an hour.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.

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