Simple Olive Bread
This insanely fluffy, chewy, olive bread is super simple to make. Simply, bring the ingredients together in a bowl, knead for 10 minutes, then leave it to slowly rise. You’ll be enamoured by the mouthwatering olive-filled, golden, and fluffy loaf!
2 cups of lukewarm water
1 heaped tablespoon of honey (or caster sugar)
2 teaspoons of dried instant yeast
4 cups strong bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of salt (I use Maldon)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup / 200g of olives, roughly sliced (I used a mix of kalamata and Castelvetrano olives - Sicilian green olives)
Fill a measuring jug with 2 cups of lukewarm water, add honey and yeast and set aside for 5 minutes for the yeast to bloom.
In a large bowl combine flour, olive oil, and salt. Add the cups of yeasted water, and stir with a knife until combined. Turn the dough out onto a chopping board or bench top and knead with your hands (or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment) for 10 minutes or until the dough comes together and is smooth and shiny. Add the olives then knead for a further minute.
Oil the sides of the original bowl then add the dough back to the bowl and cover with cling wrap or a clean tea towel. Let dough rise for at least 2 hours at room temperature in a non-drafty spot.
After the dough has risen, punch down, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured chopping board and fold it over on itself once or twice, shape it into a round-ish shape (if you are using a Dutch oven) or rectangle if you are using a loaf pan. Cover the dough with a sprinkling of flour and tea towel then let it rest for another 2 hours or so.
Preheat the oven to 210°C fan forced (or 230°C/ 450°F). Place your Dutch oven (including the lid) or loaf pan into the oven to heat while the dough proofs
When the dough has doubled in size, carefully remove the Dutch oven or loaf pan (it will be very hot) from the oven. Quickly turn the dough into the pot and give it a little shake to spread it out if need be. Sprinkle over some more olives and salt if you wish.
Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, so that the bread becomes crusty and golden.
Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and enjoying with butter or more olive oil.