Thursday, August 23, 2012

Olive Rosemary Bread

An abundance of olives, a bush of rosemary and a little bit of time is what I had today, so naturally, I made olive rosemary bread. I used to go to a restaurant in Sydney, Australia called Bayswater Brasserie and they served the most amazing olive bread I have ever had. It looked like a really good bread dough, shaped into a flat log and stuffed with olives. It was so good and salty, I still remember it.

From a quick internet search, it looks like the restaurant has been closed for some time - it's been 12 years since I lived in Australia - which is a shame, because it really was a great restaurant in a prime location. Part of me wonders what is in it's place. I am sure Kings Cross is not the Kings Cross I remember, but hopefully some of the good places to eat are still going strong.

On a side note, one of my other favourite places to go was Roy's Famous on Victoria Street. But, another internet search, and it too has closed. There was that place, too, that made you wear a crazy hat every time you ate there. Oh, I am having some good flashbacks to some great nights out with friends. Makes me a little homesick.

Anyway, back to the bread. It's not the same as the Bayswater Brasserie (btw, if anyone has the recipe and wants to share it with me, I would be much obliged), actually, it's not even close to the olive bread I ate there, but this is still a delicious bread. We ate it fresh, we ate it smothered in butter and we even ate it grilled with a little olive oil and then smothered in Boursin cheese...yum!

Olive Rosemary Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1/2 onion, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 egg
160ml warm water
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped

Gently cook onion in oil, with salt, until softened - it looks like a lot of oil, but it is the fat you need in the bread. Remove from heat and stir through minced garlic and rosemary, and leave to cool slightly. You want the mix to be warm, but not hot or it may kill the yeast.

When oil is warm, combine all ingredients into bowl of stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, and mix until a smooth dough forms. You may need to add a little more water or flour to get a nice dough. Knead for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to proof in a warm place for 1 hour.

Remove from bowl, shape into a round loaf, and place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave for another hour.

Preheat oven to 400F. Place bread into oven on middle shelf and bake for approximately 40 minutes. The bread will be well browned all over. Remove from oven and cool before slicing.

*Note, the easiest way to pit olives is to squash them gently with a knife and then basically peel off the flesh. Or, use an olive pitter, or, but them pitted.


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