Sunday, May 10, 2009

Olive and Herb Bread / Thankyou Kevin!

Bread ahoy! I know that all posts so far have been bread related, but you must understand the frugality behind it. Bread is cheap and delicious, and this is a 'recession'. Blah blah. Recession is boring, who cares! It seems now people talk about the recession and pander to it because it is fashionable, rather than it being an actual reality in their lives. What's this about cutting your budget? You either have a job, and therefore have money, or you don't. Does the recession just magically make your money disappear?

If it does, then perhaps you should bake some bread. Otherwise, bake bread because it's fun. PM Kevin gave a lot of us $900 and rather than going crazy I invested in a good pyrex bowl (see earlier posts for my gripes at not having one) and a (cheap) digital camera. The rest is for 'just in case'. Evidence:

Oh, the excitement. So I decided to bake a loaf of olive and herb bread. (Note: It was Friday night. This is what gets me excited these days. I don't actually remember the last time I had a weekend drink in a bar. Hah.)

Olive and Herb Bread

(adapted from the Women's Weekly Cookbook 'Muffins, Scones and Breads')

4 teaspoons (14g) dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups (310ml) warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 cups flour (I used wholemeal)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups plain flour, extra (I used wholemeal, again)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped olives (I used marinated green ones)
handful chopped herbs of your choosing (I used fresh basil and parsley)

Mix yeast, sugar, milk and water in a large bowl (yay for large bowls!), whisk until yeast is all dissolved.

Whisk in sifted flour then cover bowl with a tea towel. Put in a warm place for about 30 mins or until it has grown to double its size.

Stir in oil, then extra flour and the salt. Knead dough for about 10 minutes. Clean the bowl you have been using and then grease it with a bit of oil. Put dough back in and cover again with tea towel. Stand in warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.

Knead in herbs and olives. I would suggest kneading in a couple of tablespoons of pesto here, if you have it laying around. I think it would really add to the flavour. I will be doing this next time!

Prehead oven to 200 degrees C. Roll dough out into an oval shape and then fold in half (it should look roughly like a loaf of bread now). Ease it onto a greased baking tray.

Cover again and leave for about half an hour (I left it on top of the stove to make use of the heat from the preheating oven). After it has re-risen, dust the loaf with a tablespoon or so of flour, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

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