Adding olives to white bread turns ordinary bread into a unique savory and salty treat. The bread is great spread with roasted garlic or paired with hard cheeses like Pecorino or Montego.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 or more hours (for rising)
Cook Time: 50 minutes for a loaf, 20-25 minutes for a small round
Serves: 1 loaf or 2-4 small round loaves
About 12 ounces of pitted Kalamata olives in brine (about 6 oz. when drained), drained and brine reserved
The brine from the olives, plus enough water to make 1 ½ cups of liquid (heated to about 110 degrees, no hotter than 115)
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
3 cups white all-purpose flour, 15 oz. by weight
A plastic container with a non-air tight lid for rising and storage. I like a plastic juice pitcher.
Coarsely chop the Kalamata olives.
Pour the warm water/brine mixture in a bowl. Add the yeast, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine. Add the flour. Toss in the chopped olives. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. You may want to need in a bit more flour, as the olives release some liquid. If you wish you can knead the dough either by hand or in a stand mixer. Place the dough ball in the plastic container and cover with lid. It will be wet and sticky. Let rise until double in size. This will take about 2 hours, depending on the warmth of the environment.
Once it doubles you may use it right away, or store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; sprinkle working surface, hands, and top of dough with plenty of flour. Turn dough onto work surface. Gather dough in a bunch at the base to form a smooth top. Place in a greased loaf pan smooth side up. Let sit for 30 minutes or until rises to desired height. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 50 minutes.