DH was skeptical when I told him the name of the recipe, but I had faith in the editors of The Simple Art of Eating Well.
- 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 2/3 C lukewarm water
- 3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 Tbsp flavorful olive oil
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp fresh chives or 2 tsp dried (I omitted this)
- 1 1/4 tsp dried oregano and dried thyme (I substituted 3 heaping tsp Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle)
- 2 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 1/4 C whole-wheat flour (I substituted whole-wheat bread flour because I had some I needed to use up)
- 2/3 C finely chopped black olives
- Dissolve yeast in 2/3 C of warm water.
- Mix all remaining ingredients (other than olives and the whole-wheat flour) well in a large electric mixer (I used my KitchenAid); slowly add the yeast mixture; then add the remaining flour and olives until it starts to look like good bread consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and let double (takes about 45 minutes to an hour).
- Spray two 1 1/2-2 qt ovenproof casseroles with cooking spray. Then spray your hands and deflate the dough and divide into the two pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough touches the plastic wrap, about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hrs.
- Remove the plastic wrap and let the dough rise to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the rims, 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400F.
- Transfer the loaves to the middle of the oven (be careful not to jar the loaves as they may deflate) and bake until nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Remove loaves from the dishes (might have to use a table knife to loosen from the sides) and flip upside down on a baking sheet. Bake another 10-15 minutes until they are well browned on top and sound hollow when tapped. Let the loaves cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
The Verdict: I LOVED the texture of this bread, even the next day. I was a bit worried about the olives and herbs being too overpowering, but it smelled a lot more flavorful than it tasted; although the next day the flavors seemed to have blended a bit better. With some butter it makes a great snack.
Nutrition info: Makes 2 large loaves, about 12 slices each which are 154 calories, 3 g fat, 28 g carbs, 4 g protein, 3 g fiber.
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