June 27, 2010

Rosemary Olive Bread

What an eventful weekend it has been! Aside from reuniting with old friends, soaking in plenty of sun, and eating like as if it were my sole life purpose, I heeded to my inner domestic diva. So without any regrets: welcome back, dearest baking beast! (Why beast? Because I'm overcome by the same problem with baking as I am with eating: once I start, I have trouble stopping). Ha.

Comparing cookie-baking to bread-baking (like the legit way w/ yeast) would be like comparing sketching to wood-carving. That is, if you don't own a bread machine like me.
If you do have a bread machine and you're not making fresh bread daily, shame on you! (maybe if I had one, I probably wouldn't either. Why is it that we take good things we have for granted?) Anyway, back to bread... but first, a quick back story, as if one tangent is not enough per entry:

A few days ago, my friend almost committed a crime w/ a jar of pitted Kalamata olives. But before the jar met its devastating fate, I snatched it from my friend's hands, reprimanded her for even daring to waste food, and then proceeded to dream about the delicious olive bread I was going to make. And so I did.

1 cup warm water
2 tsp fresh yeast
1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup warm water
3 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. fresh yeast
1/4 cup shortening
4 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

  1. Combine water and yeast in a medium-sized bowl and stir until yeast is completely dissolved. Add flour until all the ingredients are incorporated. Cover w/ a damp cloth (or plastic wrap) and allow it to ferment in room temperature for 30 min.
  1. Combine yeast, water, and honey in a stand mixer. (yes, I used a stand mixer for this. Unfortunately, it was not mine). Stir until yeast is completely dissolved. 
  2. Add shortening, flour, salt, olives, rosemary and the starter. 
  3. Mix on low speed until the dough is fully formed. 
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half. 
  5. Roll dough into a small ball and place it in a bowl or on a plate. Place a damp cloth over it and allow it to rest for ~ 30 min. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. After 30 min., form the dough into loaves. Then re-cover w/ damp cloth and allow it to sit for another 30 min. 
  7. Score the dough, spray loaves w/ water or Pam, and bake it for 30-40 min. until the edges are golden brown.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and if you're like me and used baking pans, remove it from the pans before allowing them to cool on cooling racks for ~40 min.
  9. Slice and serve w/ butter or make a yummy sandwich!
{ adopted from panera bread recipe }

yield: 2 loaves
type: Bread
difficulty: Difficult
cost: $$


*I haven't been providing pictures for each step. If you'd like further guidance or have any questions, please let me know!

*On a separate but equally important note: Please be advised that Kellogg's has recently recalled several of its cereals. [link]

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