Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Olive Bread

I made the biggest batch of bread ever today. In fact, I may as well call it the Mean Bakery!

Everything got off to a late start this morning. We were all so reluctant to get out of our warm beds to face the blustery rain... brrrr! And what with it being the first day back to work for Mr Mean - it was all a bit of a rude awakening! Mr Mean's car wouldn't start from having so little time on the road over Christmas and two fence panels had been blown over in the wind too! Happy 2012! So, Mr Mean ended up taking my car and I thought I better get making some bread for lunch.

I always think bread takes a good three hours to produce, so this morning I thought I'd try something a little different. I made three loafs - two plain white and an olive bread. I thought I'd try making the olive bread with only one rise, which would get it in the oven quicker and ready in plenty of time for lunch. And it was a total success! I served it with some homemade hummus and extra virgin olive oil. We managed to eat the whole loaf!

500g strong white bread flour
1 sachet of yeast
1 teaspoon pouring salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
350ml luke warm water
10 black kalamata olives, chopped

In a large bowl (I have to use my Mason and Cash bowl to feel like a proper old-school mommy!), put your flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water and olive oil. Mix into a dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. The dough will initially feel quite sticky, but keep with it and kneed for at least 10 minutes. The dough should feel smooth and elastic. Now add your olives and distribute through the dough.

Oil a baking tray and press the dough out into a oval shape. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove the cling film and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 200C for 25 minutes. Leave to cool and serve.

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