Olive and Rosemary Bread

1 Servings
4 Hours 30 Minutes

Bread is considered a simple item and one can argue that it is a staple. I know that no true European would be caught without a piece of bread to lap up the sauce from their plate at the end of a meal.


Making bread is often thought to be difficult and tedious but once you start making your own bread you soon realise that the process is enjoyable and rewarding . I, personally, love kneading the dough by hand and really getting a feel for the dough .


If you are a bread making beginner ; this recipe is just for you. The process is simple yet the result is artisinal . The exterior of the loaf has the most incredible crust while the crumb is flavoured with delicious Kalamata olives and fragrant rosemary. Feel free to substitute the olives for roasted garlic and the rosemary for thyme .

The dough that has proved for the second time .

Use a sharp knife to create a pattern on the top

Olive and Rosemary Bread

Recipe details

  • 1 Servings
  • Prep time: 4 Hours|Cook time: 30 Minutes|Total time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes

Ingredients


Instructions


Place your flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and add the yeast and the sugar on one side and the salt on the other. Be careful not to add more salt than the recipe calls for as too much salt may render your yeast inactive.
Next add the softened butter mixing on a low speed . The butter will form little crumbs.
Next, add the water (body temperature) a little at a time. You must do this slowly as you may not need to add all the water as the absorption rate of flour can vary.
The dough must come clean from the sides of the bowl. It must be soft not sticky.
At this point, I remove the dough from the mixer as I like to knead the dough by hand.
Place the dough on a clean work surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes. Do not add more flour to knead , instead use a little olive oil on the surface . Push the dough into one direction with the heel of your hand and then fold it back . Continue to work the dough in this manner as this will activate the gluten strands and make the dough elastic.
Once you have kneaded the dough to a smooth and elastic consistency form a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl and cover with cling film . Leave the dough to rise for 1 &1/2 hrs or until the dough has doubled in size . Be patient as your room temperature does affect the length of time that the dough will take to rise.
After the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and fold in the chopped olives and chopped rosemary.
Leave it to prove on a lined baking tray ( cover with a tea towel) for another 1& 1/2hrs or until it has doubled in size (again the temperature of your room will influence the amount of time your dough will take to rise).
Pre-heat your oven to 220 C( 428 F) or 200 C (392 F) for a fan oven.
Rub the exterior of the dough with flour and use a sharp knife to slash a pattern in the top .
Take another baking tray and place cold water in it . Place this in the bottom of your oven. This will assist in creating a beautiful crust as your bread bakes.
Bake for 30 minutes . To check if your loaf is done it should look golden and the crust should make a sound when you tap on the bottom.
Leave to cool completely before slicing.

Tips

  • Be patient on the first and second rise . It is very important that on both the first and second rise the dough doubles in size.
  • Use a sharp knife to make the pattern on top.
  • Enjoy the process.

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