Mediterranean Olive Bread
Filled with brine-soaked Mediterranean olives, this crusty bread will be the star at the dinner table.
Yield: 1 round loaf
- 3 cups, plus extra for kneading bread flour
- 2¼ tsp (one packet) Red Star Instant Yeast (Quick Rise or Platinum)
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1½ cups warm water (120-130F)
- 1¾ cups mixed olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 TBSP olive oil, to coat the resting bowl
- cornmeal for dusting
- Recipe created by Foodness Gracious.
- Lay a clean kitchen towel on a cookie tray and dust liberally with corn meal. Set aside with another towel beside it. You will also need a large dutch oven or heavy ceramic pot with a lid.
- Combine the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add the warm water and gently mix together with your hand until the dough starts to come together.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and knead very gently into a ball shape.
- Coat the bowl with the olive oil and return the dough into the center of it.
- Cover and seal well with plastic wrap. Let it sit until it doubles in size.
- Once it has risen, take it out of the bowl and lay it on your table. Roughly press the dough into a flat circle and sprinkle about half of the olives on top.
- Fold the dough over on itself, hiding the olives and press down again to form a flat shape.
- Lay the rest of the olives on to the dough and fold over again, this time forming another ball shape.
- Lay the dough onto the cornmeal dusted towel, seam side down.
- Dust the top of the dough with some extra cornmeal and cover with the second towel.
- Let rest until it's almost doubled in size again.
- Watch it closely and when you see that it's almost ready, preheat your oven to 450°F and place the empty pot into it.
- When the oven has reached it's temperature, take off the top towel and using a sharp serrated knife, cut two slits across the top of the dough.
- Take the pot out of the oven and very carefully lift and drop the bread into the pot.
- Place the lid on and put it back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take the lid from the pot and bake for a further 20-30 minutes and the crust is golden and crispy.
- Let cool before slicing.
Rising times may vary due to environment and temperature of the surroundings. Heat will speed up the process so small warm areas are great for letting the bread rise.