Baking, Esq.

6th April 2013


Olive Bread



I have been watching a new Baking show.  It is not on in the United States, which is very, very sad.  The show is called the Hairy Bikers Bakation.  Apparently they have a regular baking show too, but this one is two middle-aged, ugly Scottish bikers riding around Europe and baking things.  And it is hilarious.

This is not a Hairy Biker recipe.  I want to buy their cookbook but the whole not- syndicated-in-the-United-States thing makes it more difficult.  Though watching the show did give me an incredible desire to make bread.  Warm fresh-from-the-oven delicious bread!  And to go to Norway.  Or really anywhere.  I love to travel.

So I am actually really jealous of my little sister.  She has been accepted to the 1000 Shillings journalism fellowship this summer and will be traveling to Uganda. 




1000 Shillings is a micro-loan company striving to connect people around the wold though storytelling and artisan products.  They support local women as they start first with jewelry and then moving on to their passion.  My sister is an english major with a lot of journalism experience, and so her summer is going to be spent writing their stories and helping to empower the women to stand on their own as small business owners.  I am so very proud of her.  And yeah… still a little jealous.

Now here’s the pitch.  Think this sounds cool?  Got five bucks to spare?  She has to raise the money for her trip and plane ticket.  She is not asking for much at all; whatever you’ve got will be a big help.  She has a Go Fund Me site and is looking to raise $1000.  If you would like to help her, we would both be very grateful (and I’ll try to get her to bring me back Ugandan recipes to share with you all!) Click HERE .


Thanks!  And now on to the bread!




This bread, (not from the Hairy Bikers, but don’t worry-its only a matter of time till I get that cookbook!) is from a really old copy of The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines.  It is a spin on his Ancient Roman bread.  I say spin but really what I mean is we follow his recipe and then add a whole mess of chopped olives into the dough.  Mmmmmm.  If you don’t like olives, don’t put them in.  It’s still a very tasty loaf of bread.

Olive Bread (Ancient Roman Bread)

From The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines 

I halved the recipe to get one nice-sized loaf.  Feel free to double if you have more people eating.  Though I might have eaten the whole loaf myself…. 



1 envelope of yeast

1 1/4 cup tepid water

3 cups flour (you can feel free to mix in some white whole wheat flour as well if you got it)

1 tsp salt dissolved in 1 tbsp of water

Put the yeast, tepid water, and salt water in a bowl.  Stir to dissolve and leave it to proof.



Add in the three cups of flour and mix until it forms a ball.  



Then knead!



Need some help kneading?  (Hehe NEED some help?) I did an in-depth description/ tutorial over here 

Once your dough is smooth and elastic, set it in a greased bowl to rise for a good hour - hour and half.  It should be doubled in bulk.



In the meantime chop up a bunch of olives.  I like using a mix of black and green but use whatever olive combination you like. Kalamata olives are also really good in this bread. 



Punch down your dough and let the real fun begin.  You are gonna want to knead in the olives.  It is actually a very similar process to the kneading in the cheese when making the Cheese Bread but a little juicier.  And the olives do have a tendency to pop back out the other side.  I just stick them right back in when they do.



Once you have all your olives incorporated in (more olives makes for a tastier bread but a much more difficult kneading experience - it is a toss up) it is back into the bowl for a second rising.

After another hour the dough should again be about doubled in bulk.  Carefully turn it out and form into a round loaf.  



Place the dough on a greased pan and let rest while you preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (mine took the full 30) and, though it will be really hard, allow to cool a little before slicing.  I made it all of 10 minutes before I had to have a slice.



This is really good served with spaghetti or just some olive oil for dunking.  


Be sure to check out this bread, and so many other yeasty creations, on YeastSpotting!  



Tagged: Olive breadolivesbreadhomemaderecipenow I want to make moreseriouslyI have a problemCarbs!