This is the easiest bread, all you do it mix, rest and bake- woo hoo! I am super excited about this bread because it came out perfect! Fortunately my work is close to home so I can go home on my lunches when I want so I whipped this up on my lunch break and when I came home I had such a wonderful surprise on my counter..beautiful bread dough that had puffed up. I even deflated the puffy cloud of goodness and went to workout for about an hour and when I came back the dough got even more puffy! When this happens I know I did a good job letting the yeast incorporate in the mixture and do it’s ‘thing’.
2 tsp. instant yeast
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. olive oil
1 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives; make sure they are drained
- Combine the first six ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a spatula to roughly combine the ingredients. Let rest for 15 minutes to activate the yeast.
- Fold in the olives. Attach the dough hook and knead on medium for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in a bit more flour as needed if the dough won't release from the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the kneaded dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 60 minutes in a warm place.
- Punch the dough down, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your hands to shape it into a loaf. Allow to rise for another 60 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a second baking sheet on the bottom rack. Dust the loaf with flour and use a serrated knife to make 3-5 shallow cuts across the top.
- Place the baking sheet containing the dough on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Toss a half cup of water onto the hot baking sheet on the bottom rack and close the door. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
I spent some time trying to learn how yeast works and failed several times. I tried making homemade cinnamon rolls for us on New Years morning and that was a fail. They still tasted good but the dough just wasn’t the fluffy and puffy dough that I was hoping for. I also tried making a basic Italian Sesame bread and the first time was awful- the dough was lumpy and needed a lot of work. That dough didn’t even rise at all so naturally I just tossed it right in the trash. The second time around, I was really patient and left the dough to mix on my kitchen aid mixer for a good 10-12 minutes. Basically until it was smooth and the dough was soft and a bit warm. When I went to take the dough off the dough hook, it came off so smoothly I had really high hopes this time. I left it to rise for a few hours and when I checked on it, the dough was just right! I even made a cute braid out of it and it came out so perf.
Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is bread isn’t all that difficult to make from s-c-r-a-t-c-h like ya’ll think. If I can do this on my lunch break- you can do it too! At least give it a try. Also I’m addicted to olive bread and I can’t wait to make this recipe again. Next time around I am considering adding more olives because I can’t get enough of them!