Bread making is so therapeutic for me. It’s a good arm work out in itself and good for any frustration you might have. There is a zen to bread making, I honestly believe when you cook/bake with an intention for love or generosity it shows in the end result. So if you attempt this recipe think positive thoughts, put some music on and zone out while kneading. Set your intention, we no longer cook just for sustenence, we can pay for people to prepare food for us now and it’s begining to be a luxury to make your own food . Enjoy food from the process of making, to the process of eating and you will grow a greater appreciation for it and so will the people you share it with. There is pride in the hand-made. ….So enough with the Zen rant….. this takes time but it’s soo worth it, and Jenn I swear I’m gonna make you some as soon as it I get a chance when it’s not so warm. I can eat the whole loaf it has so much taste to it, and honestly it is so good with butter or just olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The left overs make awesome bases for sandwiches, it toasts really well and is great with homemade tomato basil soup. This makes 2 good sized loaves.
Olive Rosemary Bread
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 4 teaspoons fresh yeast
- 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
Make the Starter combine the water and yeast in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast until fully dissolved. Add the flour to the bowl and stir until everything is one consistency. Cover with a cloth and ferment the starter at room temperature for 1 hour, this will rise quite a bit.
Tip–> if it’s in winter you are making in and your house is chilly, turn the oven on the lowest setting for about 10-15 minutes and shut it off before you put the starter in.
Do the same again when you let the actual bread rise.
To make the dough, add water, honey and yeast to a bowl. Dissolve yeast fully then add the oil, flour, salt, starter, rosemary and olives. Mix, this requires some major arm muscles, hence the love and zen, until well combined. You might need a little more flour, if you find it too sticky but it should be a little sticky when you divide it. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide the dough into 2 pieces. Shape dough into a smooth ball. Place the dough on oiled surface and cover with plastic wrap and then a warm, damp cloth to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes(or again if it’s the winter in the oven, but take it 10-15 minutes before the resting time it up so you can preheat to bake it). Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Score the loaves with a sharp knife, spray with water, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crusts are a deep golden brown
Remove the bread from the oven and place it on the cooling rack, it never gets much further than this in my house. There is nothing like warm bread!