Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Olive bread
An earthy tasting bread with fresh
olive oil and greek kalamata olives

I admit, I am "the ultimate olive fanatic", and whoever reads my blog is going to have to deal with that fetish of mine. My addiction is pretty serious considering I've already written a cook book about olives and, hold your horses, my middle name is Olivia! Anyway, I love the little suckers in all their different forms and colors. I love olives in salads, I love them in my glas of dry martini and of course, I love them in my bread! See, I can't behave myself. My love for olives is downright invincible.

As for this bread, all I did was I used the recipe for Pan à l'ancienne (posted prior to this) as a guide line. I used it because I just love the texture of that bread when it comes out of the oven. So, Peter Reinharts Pan á l'ancienne is turned into Olive bread á l'Benson!

When making the dough I added about a cup of good extra virgin olive oil (I always prefer spanish oil) and 1,5-2 cups of chopped kalamata olives. I mixed the two extra ingredients into the dough with everything else before placing the dough in the fridge over night. The bread is super easy to make, just make sure that there is enough flour in the dough since adding olive oil and olives (that contain a lot of liquid) can tend to make the dough more loose. Just add a little more flour until you find the consistency of it to be right.

I made four of these leaf-shaped olive breads. On two of the breads I sprinkled thyme and sea salt, just to give it some variety in looks and flavor. Also, shaping the bread as a leaf is so much fun, and very easy to do. It doesn't have to look perfect, that's the finess of it. Just dump the dough on a baking sheet, spread it out (be careful though, you don't want to push out the air) and use a pair of scissors to cut the holes. Your friends will be very impressed if you are having a dinner party with this type of bread!

A little over a week ago my mother, Monika, turned 50 and she wanted to celebrate this birthday with a humungous party in our home town Lund. There was a lot of preperation going on last week, and luckily my mom wanted be to be a big part of it. So I cooked and I also did a lot of baking, because we were of course refusing to buy store-bought bread. Home made bread beats it all, especially when it's made from real sourdough and fresh ingredients. Me and my sister Emily were responsible for the bread table, so we each made 3 different breads. This olive bread was on of the breads that I made, and here's a picture of our bread table. It's a real treat for the eye, just to look at it.

On the bread table we have Danish ryebread, Pan al ancienne, Ciabbatas, Beer bread, Olive bread, Levain (sourdough bread) and swedish sourdough crispbread.

On the sign by the bread table it says; "St. Benson´s convection oven bakery" instead of "St. Benson´s stone oven bakery". That´s me and my sister Emily, just making a statement that you don´t need a fancy oven to make wonderfully tasting bread! 


  1. My dear Karin Olivia!
    You and your sister are the best bakers in the whole wide world!
    Everybody I talk to who came to the party, they all comment on the wonderful bread buffet and how tasty the bread was! Thank you again to you and Emily for giving this tasty birthday gift to me, my friends and my family to enjoy!
    Love you - Mamma

  2. mamma, you're welcome. It was one of our birthday gifts to you! Love