Bread is one of my biggest weaknesses. Give me some freshly baked bread and a little salted butter and I will be quite happy munching away on just that. Indeed, I'm a sucker for most types of bread but olive bread (along with sun-dried tomato bread) is at the very top of my list. Which is why I thought it was about time I actually made some myself!
A soft, beautifully flavourful bread, this Green Olive & Parmesan Bread is suited for breakfast (paired with smoked salmon, avocado and poached eggs, it's a winner), lunch (makes an absolutely phenomenal sandwich) and dinner (excellent for dipping into soups and stews, or as an accompaniment to a salad). This recipe also makes enough for one large loaf or two small loaves (so you could store one in the freezer for later).
Utensils: Large mixing bowl, stand mixer with dough hook (optional), wooden spoon, large baking tray, baking paper.
Top Tip: This recipe makes enough for 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves, which is perfect for if you want to save one for later in the freezer. Once cooled, wrap tightly in cling film, ensuring all of the bread is covered to prevent freezer burn, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and allow to defrost thoroughly before eating. If you have time, slightly wet the crust of the bread all over and warm in the oven on a low temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Green Olive & Parmesan Bread
275ml lukewarm water
1 pack (7g) instant yeast
500g strong white flour
10g coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
55ml extra virgin olive oil
170g green manzanilla olives, pitted, dried and chopped
50g parmesan, grated (or a vegetarian Italian style hard cheese alternative, or you could add nutritional yeast if you want to make this bread vegan)
Makes: 1 large or 2 small loaves
1. Activate the yeast: In a large mixing bowl (or your stand mixer bowl if using), add 275ml warm water and the instant yeast. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to activate for 10 minutes.
2. Make the dough: Add the flour, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, dried oregano and olive oil to the mixing bowl and stir using a wooden spoon. Once the mixture is too difficult to stir, knead the mixture with your hands until a dough forms. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface (the dough will be pretty sticky) and knead well with your hands until the dough is elastic, smooth and shiny (about 10-12 minutes). If using a stand mixer with a dough hook, add all of the ingredients to the bowl and knead using the dough hook until the dough is elastic, smooth and shiny (about 6-8 minutes).
3. Wash and dry your mixing bowl and then grease with a little olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for one hour, until roughly doubled in size.
4. Wash and dry the pitted olives before roughly chopping to your desired size. If making 1 large loaf, add the olives and grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative or nutritional yeast) to the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface until evenly dispersed. If making 2 small loaves, divide the dough into two and add half of the olives and grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative or nutritional yeast) to each piece of dough. Knead until evenly dispersed.
5. Mould the dough into 1 oblong loaf or 2 round loaves and press down on the dough firmly. Place on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper. Sprinkle white flour lightly over the top and mark/score the top of the dough, if desired. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for one hour.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C. When the dough has proved, bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Check the bread regularly during baking, and turn the oven down a little if the crust begins to darken too much. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before devouring.
Storage: Wrap in a clean kitchen towel and store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 days. Do not store in the fridge (this will make the bread go hard very quickly). Alternatively, once cooled wrap tightly in cling film, ensuring all of the bread is covered to prevent freezer burn, and freeze for up to 3 months.