I love this bread with a nice dipping sauce made from good olive oil, garlic, italian herbs and balsamic vinegar. It’s pretty easy to make, but like most bread recipes it takes time, so plan ahead. Enjoy!
Tuscan Olive Bread
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
- 4 cups bread flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
- 2 pinches of sugar
- 1 cup kalamata olives, rough chopped
Stir the yeast into the warm water with a pinch of sugar until it’s dissolved. Add 1 cup of flour in a stand mixer, I like my KitchenAid 6-Qt. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, with a whisk attachment and beat at medium-high for 1 minute until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 1 hour.
Switch to a paddle attachment and beat in the olives, salt, and another pinch of sugar. Start adding the flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating at medium-high. Continue until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, using as little flour as possible. It’s almost impossible to over kneed the bread but very easy to under kneed it. Shape it into a ball.
Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover, placing in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled, somewhere between 1 and 1 1/2 hours.
Gently flatten and form back into a ball. Put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. let rest for 20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. If you have a bread or pizza stone, put that on the bottom of the oven and place the rack in the lowest position. Using a serrated knife, score the top of the loaf; tic tac or cross pattern. Bake for 60 minutes on the lowest rack.
Note that my loaf in the picture looks small because I decided to split my dough and make 2 smaller loaves.