Making olive bread can be tricky – but it’s worth it

It can be tricky. But it’s worth it. Five easy steps to making olive bread.

This olive bread was very popular among my friends. It takes a few hours to bake, and can be a little tricky at times, but creates a fantastic flavoured bread.

An important thing to remember when baking using olives is that they will release a lot of moisture during the kneading process, so it can help to use a little more flour than needed in order to prevent the dough from becoming wet, sticky and unworkable.

[one_half] 1) Pour the bread flour into a mixing bowl. Add the dried yeast to one side of the bowl, the salt to the other, and then add the olive oil and around 3/4 of the water. Turn the mixture around with your fingers, adding extra water as needed, until it forms a dough and all of the flour from the bowl is incorporated.

2) Scrape the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for five to 10 minutes, until the mixture becomes smooth and stretchy. Then leave the mixture in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel, for at least one hour.

3) Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface, flatten with your hands, and pour the olives onto the mixture. Knead the dough until the olives are incorporated evenly in the mixture – you may need to add more flour at this point, as the olives will bring a lot of moisture into the bread. Then leave the bread in the bowl for another 30 minutes.
[/one_half] [one_half_last] [alert type=”blue”] You will need:

500g strong white bread flour (having a little extra may help if you find the dough becomes wet and hard to work with)

10g instant-action yeast

10g salt

40ml olive oil, plus extra for kneading

300ml lukewarm water

Around 200g olives, roughly chopped (any type will do – I like to use a mixture of green and black olives)

[/alert] [/one_half_last] 4) Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface again, and “knock back” – turn the dough inwards on itself until the air is all knocked out and the dough is smooth again. Then form into a ball, and place onto a piece of baking parchment or silicone paper on a baking tray. Leave for another hour to rise, and preheat your oven to 230°C or Gas Mark 7.

5) Bake the bread for roughly 30 minutes, or until it makes a hollow sound when you tap the bottom. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

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