Kalamata Olive & Rosemary Bread
As far as I’m concerned, there’s three amazing cooking smells – frying onions, fresh coffee & the smell of freshly baked bread out of the oven. I’ve cooked bread a handful of times and had some triumphs and some disasters so I wasn’t feeling overly confident that it wouldn’t turn out into a big rock cake. All in all it took a good couple of hours and a whole lot of love. The recipe was for two loaves of bread so I made one plain loaf for breakfast and added some Kalamata olives and fresh rosemary out of my garden to the other. (Yipeee I have a garden!) I also felt quite virtuous as I’d figured I also got in 1/2 of my cardio work for the day with the 15 minutes of kneading it required. As soon as the bread was on the rack I couldn’t wait for a taste. I cut it and smiled. Well indeed it was perfect and probably the best bread I’ve baked to date!
Kalamata Olive and Rosemary Bread
Makes 2 loaves
4.25 warm water
2 1/2 tsp dried yeast
750 g strong white flour
2 tsp salt
4 tblsp olive oil
A handful of rosemary sprigs
Mix the sugar with 150ml of the warm water and yeast and let stand in a warm place for 5 minutes until the mixture is foaming.
Sift the four and salt into a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl with the olive oil and most of the remaining water. Mix to a loose dough adding the remaining water if needed. Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is light and springy to the touch. If you’re using a food mixture with a dough hook, 5 minutes should be long enough.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover tightly with oiled cling film and place some where warm to rise. After 2-3 hours the dough should double in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 220°C. Knock back the dough and knead it for a further 2-3 minutes. Leave it to relax for a further 10 minutes before you begin to shape the bread.
Shape the bread into loaves or rolls and transfer to a baking tray and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow the dough to raise one more time in a warm place for 20-30 minutes until the dough has again doubled in size.
Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes or 10-15 minutes for rolls. Lower to temperature to 200°C after 15 minutes until the remaining cooking time. When cooked the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.