Rustic Olive and Tomato Bread

Both yesterday and today are very good days for baking. We are in the midst of what the weather forecasters are calling another “snowmageddon”, though the last time they predicted this, it turned out to be a big nothing burger. However, today, it seems to be pretty true. We’ve already had about 5 inches of snow, and it is still snowing and the winds are beginning to blow too. When the winds blow, it often creates white-out conditions and the visibility gets pretty bad. It is definitely a good day to stay indoors. At the moment, we are blanketed in a thick layer of white snow. We are currently under a weather advisory to stay indoors if possible.

Yesterday’s baking was a rounded loaf of a rustic bread filled with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, onions and garlic. YUM! I served it alongside a delicious Southwestern turkey chowder.

This delicious bread was filled with all kinds of goodness. I used a bunch of mixed olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh oregano and garlic and red onions. It’s almost a meal all by itself. i could easily eat the whole thing in one sitting. 🙂

Rustic Olive and Tomato Bread

3 1/2 tsp dry yeast

2/3 cup lukewarm water

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped fine

1 cup olives, sliced

1/2 red onion, diced fine

2 TBSP garlic, minced

1 tsp red pepper flakes

3 tsp fresh oregano, chopped fine

olive oil for the bowl

This bread needs a starter sponge. To make the starter, combine the yeast and water and let stand for about 5-10 minutes. Add about 1/2-1 cup of flour to make a thick paste, then cover and let rise for about 1 hour.

While the starter sponge is rising, cook the onions, tomatoes, garlic and olives in olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chopped oregano and mix well. Then add to the sponge.

Add everything to the remainder of the flour and knead for about 8-10 minutes until everything is combined and you have a soft, sticky dough. Form it into a ball, lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil and add the dough. Cover it and let it rise for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.

Punch it down and shape it into a ball, which is known as chafing the dough. Cover it and proof it once more, for about 45 minutes, or until it doubles in size once again.

Preheat the oven to 400*F or 200*C.

Spread a thin coating of olive oil onto a baking sheet and place the dough on the pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until it is hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can add some steam every so often too if you like. Let it cool for about 5-10 minutes before slicing it. Then mangia! Enjoy!

On a day like today, if you don’t have to go out, don’t. Stay warm, stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 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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