Homemade Bread laced with olives & garlic

Description:

Homemade Bread laced with olives & garlic

Ingredients:

There's nothing like the smell of fresh bread, and nothing better than tearing it apart when it's fresh from the oven and eating it straight from the pan... mmmm. This recipe makes two delectable loaves.

Prepare:

I/2 cube live active yeast (may substitute 1 packet dry yeast)
1 tsp. salt
5 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tblsp. chopped garlic
1/4 cup each chopped Kalamata and Cherignola (mild green) olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

How to Serve:

In a non-reactive bowl, dissolve 1/2 cube of live active yeast into 2 cups of lukewarm water. Stir in 1 tsp. salt, and stir in 5 cups of unbleached flour, one cup at a time. When the last cup has been added, knead the dough on a wooden board with an additional 1/2 c. of flour for about 3-4 minutes or until it is smooth and pliable. Coat the dough ball with olive oil and place it inside the bowl. Cover with a light towel, and set it in a sunny window for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, mix up the following: 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tblsp. chopped garlic, 1/4 cup each chopped Kalamata and Cherignola (mild green) olives & 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil. When the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide it into two pieces. Place one piece on a wooden board. With your fingers, spread the dough out in a rough circle, about 6 inches across. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; spread half of the olive oil mixture on top; sprinkle with shredded Parmigiano.

Oil a bread pan (round one preferred) and fold up the dough and twist it into shape to fit into the pan. It should be about one third the height of the pan. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Place the pans back in a sunny window, cover with a light towel and let it raise again until the dough is blooming over the sides of the pan. Place on the middle rack in a very hot (500 degree) oven for 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Time will vary depending upon your elevation, how close you live to the water, etc.


Experiment:
Eat it with your hands or wait until it cools and slice it properly (but why would you want to do that?).


Wine Pairings:
... enjoy it plain, slathered with jam or sop up some good balsamic...

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