I’m sitting here staring into a computer screen and trying to catch my breath. The blogs around me are buzzing with festive Christmas recipes and I think I’m almost ready to jump in, but I’m still trying to get on my Thanksgiving game.
My kitchen has rung with Christmas music for the last couple weeks and I have been planning some special recipes for you, but right now let’s just appreciate the autumn a little while longer.
I made you bread. I make bread for people I love because bread is carbs, and carbs equal happiness, and happiness directly equates to love. (Yep, that sentence is staying.)
This bread should be on your Thanksgiving table. Or, perhaps, it should be the bread which never ends up at the table because your grandfather decided to “taste a tiny bit". Before you knew what was happening the bottle of olive oil was out and the remnants of the charcuterie are being sandwiched betwixt bread slices dripping with extra virgin yumminess. Because we all know, that’s family-gathering reality.
It’s ridiculously simple, but it masquerades as fancy artisan bread so you can totally impress some relations. You don’t even have to buy bread flour for this one, we’re going all-purpose here.
Olives are the star player in this bread. The rich, briny flavor of kalamata olives envelopes the entire loaf making it a truly unique loaf.
Rustic Olive Bread
makes 2 small loaves
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup room temperature water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- olive oil for greasing
Press the olives with a paper towel and blot dry.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, sugar, yeast, water and salt. Mix on low speed for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a medium bowl with olive oil and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Add the olives to the dough, pressing gently to release gas. Cover and return to warm place for another 30 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide. Form each section of dough into a tight ball, pinching at the base to seal. Cover the shaped dough with a cloth and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.
Finish shaping the rested dough into a taut ball then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment and cover. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut small X’s into the top of each loaf with a sharp knife. Brush the tops of each loaf with water. Bake for 20-30 or until the loaves sound hollow when thumped. Enjoy!