Olive Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 cups Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.  Add the oil, flour, and salt.  Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed, 5-7 minutes.  Add a little flour, so the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.  
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl and sprinkle the olives over the top.  Knead the olives into the dough, briefly and gently.  Form the dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow dough to rise, 1-1.5 hours.
  3. Punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead briefly.  Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half.  Cover with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Shape each dough into a tight round loaf.  Tuck any olives that fall out back into the dough.  Place the loaves on the baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel.  Allow to rise for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450.  Lightly dust the tops of the loaves with flour.  Using a knife, slash a diagonal line from one end of the loaf to the other end.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and reduce the heat to 425.  Bake the breads until they are golden brown and hollow when tapped, about 25-35 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Yield:  2 loaves

*Adapted from Essentials of Baking

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