Pane con le Olive

Why do things always sound so much more romantic and interesting when they are spoken in a different language? English can be so …. BORING sometimes. This is certainly the case with my Pane con le Olive, as it is known in Italian. In English, it’s just simply known as olive bread. Regardless of how it sounds though, whether you say it in Italian or in English, it is the taste the really counts, and this bread is delicious!

I made this Pane con le Olive to take with us when we went to InVINtions Video #17 – INVINtions, A Creative Winery the other day, as part of our wining extravaganza. More Wine, More Nibblies I used it as the base for both my lemony garbanzo spread and my roasted peppers. All the flavors just complimented each other so well. And since the recipe made two round loaves, I repeated the same taste sensations this morning to take with me to my women’s group as well. These combinations were a big hit at both gatherings.

I have made many other versions of olive bread. I like them all. I do not have a favorite version, though I do love trying all the new recipes and different styles and “personalities” of each new recipe. 🙂 As long as I have enough butter and/or spread to go with my breads, I could easily live on breads from all over the world. I LOVE bread.

Pane con le Olive – Italian Olive Bread

about 5 1/2 cups flour, divided

1 TBSP sugar

1 1/2 TBSP active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups warm water

2 cups semolina flour

2 tsp salt

8 oz olives, chopped fine. – I like to mix and match my olives

Make a starter in one bowl by mixing 1 cup of the all purpose flour with the sugar, yeast and 1 cup of warm water. Mix it together and let it set for about 15 minutes or until it doubles in size and becomes bubbly.

In another bowl, mix 3 1/2 cups of the all purpose flour, the semolina flour, and salt. Add the yeast mixture and the rest of the water and combine everything together well. You can either mix in a mixer or by hand. If you are mixing it in a mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix. Mix for about 8 minutes then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10-12 minutes or until the dough forms into a ball and has a soft, elastic texture. Once the dough forms into a ball, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil (I actually like to coat my bread as well) and cover. Let the dough rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Once the dough has doubled in size, again, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in 1/2. Form the dough into rectangular shapes and roll out. Spread the olives evenly on top of the surface, and press them into the dough. (This is how the recipe calls for it, however, next time I make this bread, I cam going to mix the olives in before I do the first rise, so the olives are more evenly distributed).

Fold the edges into the center and form into a ball. Spread some semolina flour on the bottom of your baking pan and place both dough balls on top of the flour.

Cover the dough again and let it rise one more time, from 45-60 minutes, or until it doubles once more.

Preheat the oven to 375* F or 190* C.

Sprinkle some more semolina flour on top of the dough and score the top in a criss-cross fashion.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Let the bread cool completely before slicing it, then top with either the lemony garbanzo spread Lemony Garbanzo Spread or butter e mangia! This bread is very tasty. !Buon Appetito!

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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