Olive and Red Onion Bread
This is an adaptation of a recipe which came from a now long-forgotten cookbook, and is open to interpretation. Having made this once kneading by hand, and kneading with a standing mixer, the by-hand version is prettier (the mixer really mixed the color of the olives throughout the dough) but both are quite tasty.
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups oil cured olives, chopped
- 7 cups bread flour, plus about 1/2 cup more for kneading
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 tsp yeast
- 3 TBS fresh herbs, alone or in combination, such as parsley, thyme, oregano, etc.
- 2 cups warm water
Saute the onions in the oil over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk together the flour, salt and yeast.
Add the onions, olives and herbs, stirring to combine.
Add the warm water and stir well (by hand or with the paddle attachment on a standing mixer) until combined. Knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed if the dough is too sticky.
Place dough in an large oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot (like your oven; preheat just for a minute, and keep the door closed while it’s rising) until doubled, about an hour.
(At this point, if you’d like to make this ahead of time, refrigerate the dough overnight. The next day, allow extra rising time for the dough to come to room temperature, adding another 30 minutes or so.) Punch down the dough on a lightly floured surface, and divide in two. Form two balls of dough, pulling dough from the top to the bottom, so the top surface is smooth and the bottom is bunched.
Place each ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Slash the top of the loaves;
bake for 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow if the bottom is tapped. (No worries if you have one oven and both won’t fit; my second loaf waited patiently for its turn to bake.) Freezes well.