This recipe comes from a bread recipe book that I picked up oh so many years ago. Now I haven’t really modified this recipe as bread is not very forgiving if you don’t know what you’re doing. And I will be the first to admit that I don’t, I don’t have the science background to get away with it. But with the stay at home initiative, I’ve had plenty of time to watch lots of cooking shows. I just haven’t been making a lot as I have nowhere to take it and I don’t want to throw it away. Anyway, one of the new techniques I learned was baking your bread in a Dutch oven. And boy did it make a huge difference! I’ve made this bread plenty of times before but never has it turned out so light and fluffy! Not to mention the size! Enjoy.

Tuscan Olive Bread

  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups water (110° to 115°)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup coarse-grind whole wheat flour
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2/3 cup rough chopped olives (I use Kalamata)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Flake sea salt (optional)

Directions:

In your stand mixer bowl combine the yeast, water, 1 cup of the bread flour, the whole wheat flour, and a pinch of sugar. Whisk hard to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until bubbly, about an hour.

After it is bubbly, fit your mixer with the paddle attachment. Start adding the flour at low speed 1/2 a cup at a time. After about 1 1/2 cups in add the salt and olives. Continue to beat until smooth and it starts pulling away from the sides. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and kneed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky but you don’t want to add too much flour in or your bread will be tough.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball, place it into the bowl, swirl around to coat the top, and then turn it over. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until it’s doubled, between 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto your board. Form it into a tight bowl. Take a piece of parchment paper and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Line your dutch oven with it and place your dough inside. With a sharp knife score the top, I do 1 long cute about 1/4″ deep. Lightly dust the top with flour.

Preheat your oven to 425°. Once it’s hot place your dutch oven with the lid on into the oven. After 30 minutes remove the lid, sprinkle with the flake sea salt (optional), and bake for another 30 minutes.

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