Italian Olive Bread

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Italian Olive Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 12 – 3 cups flour

  • 2 14 teaspoons yeast (1 pkg)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 13 cup hot water

  • 2 eggs

  • 14 cup butter, room temperature 

  • 12 cup green pimento stuffed olive

  • 12 cup pitted ripe black olives (or other olive of choice)

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten

DIRECTIONS

  • In a mixing bowl, pour 2 cups flour and add the dry ingredients. Stir to blend.

  • Form a well in the flour and pour in the hot water.

  • With a wooden spoon, pull flour into the water to form a batter.

  • Break the eggs and drop into the batter.

  • Vigorously stir the eggs and batter together till the eggs have been absorbed.

  • Cut the butter into 2 or 3 pieces and drop into the mixture.

  • With a wooden spoon or mixer flat beater, mix till the batterlike dough is smooth and silky, about 2 minutes.

  • Stir in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, till the dough is a ball and can be turned out of the bowl onto a floured surface.

  • The dough should not be sticky because of the high fat content of the butter and eggs, but if it is, add sprinkles of flour.

  • Knead by hand or under a dough hook till smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

  • Knead with a strong push-turn-fold motion and occasionally lift the dough and throw it back onto the work surface. Be aggressive!

  • First rising:.

  • Place the dough in a greased bowl and set aside at room temp to rise. (because of its richness, the dough may be slow to rise, but it will double in about 1 1/2 hours – or less if using rapid rise yeast).

  • Shaping:.

  • Drain the olives and mix the green and black together so they can be uniformly scattered over the dough. Set aside.

  • Punch down the dough and turn onto the floured work surface.

  • Pat and push the dough into a 14 inch square.

  • Allow it to relax for 3-4 minutes before scattering the olives.

  • Press the olives lightly into the dough.

  • Roll up the dough as for a jelly roll to enclose the olives and place seam side down on a baking sheet/stone.

  • Tuck the open ends of the dough under to make a smooth surface.

  • Pat the loaf to flatten and shape into an oval about 2 inches thick.

  • Second rising:.

  • Cover the loaf with waxed paper or plastic wrap and leave at room temp till puffy, about 30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 350 20 minutes before baking.

  • Uncover the loaf and brush with beaten egg yolk.

  • Bake in oven till richly browned, about 45 minutes. (Watch your time, depending on how your oven heats – don’t over brown, but bake till the loaf sounds a bit hollow when tapped).

  • Place on a rack and cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.