Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Olive bread

Here is a recipe transcribed from a photocopied sheet. I think we inherited this from a book somewhere in the mists of history, but there are no obvious clues as to origin on the sheet.

This is a recipe for a bread maker, and makes a 2lb loaf.

Official version

1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

The instructions are to put the ingredients in according to the manufacturer's directions (in our case, liquids, then all the sundry ingredients, with flour on top and the yeast last of all) and bake on a basic white bread cycle.

My adjustments

I've found with these recipes that it works best to use slightly more liquid and sugar than directed. So nearer to 1 1/2 cups water, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. This is something you have to experiment with for best results.

I don't bother with green olives, just using a generous 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chopped black olives instead. Generous, because Ali and I both like our olives. Exact quantity not really important.

I like to include a bit of wholewheat flour in the mix, maybe 1/2 cup, rather than all white flour. Same overall quantity, though.

Rather that use a full cycle, I prefer to use the dough setting and finish off in the oven.

Once the bread maker has finished the dough, turn it out into a bowl, knead briefly, then cover and stand in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes.

Knead again and shape on a baking tray. Leave to rise again for another 45 minutes or so.

For rising, I get good and consistent results by setting the oven to 170 F, and then switching it off as soon as it is up to temperature.

The nice thing about dough is that you have a lot more freedom to portion it out or make one big loaf, or even make little buns just for fun. Last weekend I split the mix in half and made two loaves: one to eat immediately, and one for the freezer.

Once the bread has risen, decorate with some whole olives. Bake at 365 F for 25 minutes.

When the bread is baked, brush lightly with olive oil and leave to cool...if you can!


  1. Sweet! Thank you for posting this-I lovvveee bread! I'm going to try to make it-though I can't promise it will be edible when I do.

  2. Good luck with it Sam. Let me know how it turns out.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, one more recipe in my collection, just love bread so much :)


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