Saturday, October 31, 2009

Olive Oil Bread

This is one of my "go to" recipes for a dinner bread; it works great for soups or to dip in olive oil. It's straight forward to make and keeps better than most dinner-style loaves because of the olive oil.

From How to Cook Everything, 10th anniversary edition

3 c. flour (I use half white whole wheat)
2 t. instant yeast (rapid rise--about 1 package)
2 t. coarse sea or kosher salt
1/3 c. olive oil
1 c. warm water
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary, optional

Mix flour, yeast, and salt together. Add water and olive oil, stirring until the dough forms (you can do through this step in a food processor). Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth, kneading in rosemary. It will be a smooth, but still slightly moist dough. Place in large bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and let rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled. You can cut this rise short if you're in a hurry.

When dough has doubled, turn out onto floured surface, divide into 2 pieces (or keep as 1 large loaf) and let rest 20 minutes. Shape into balls, dust with flour, place on a lightly floured surface, cover, and let rise for another hour or two.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. If you have a baking stone, stick it in the oven on the bottom shelf. Slash top of dough several times. Bake the bread (slide onto the stone or put a baking sheet in the oven with the bread on it) until it starts to brown; lower temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until golden brown and internal temperature is 210 degrees on an instant read thermometer--about 40 to 60 minutes. This isn't as precise as it sounds--you can go by the times and appearance of the bread and forgo the temperature if you want.

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