Saturday, 21 June 2014

Wholewheat Olive Bread

A wonderful bread from a wonderful friend.
It might be difficult to squeeze a consistent recipe for this bread out of Luisa. If you've ever watched this girl cook, it's rare to see measuring cups or spoons or even a recipe. She's all about free pouring and getting her hands in there (as you can see by her beetroot fingers above). We'll see what recipe she gives me today.

I've mentioned before that Luisa has been living with us for the last 2 or so months, but on Sunday she's off and away to start her rental life in Melbourne. Last night she put on a 3 course menu for my household as a thank you gift. The gift of food-The best kind of gift!

The table was set with a menu, all rolled up and tied with a ribbon. The courses were as follows:

Homemade Olive Bread with Roasted Vegetables
French Onion Cake on Italian Rocket Salad
Dessert Creation

I'll post the bread recipe as a teaser and some photos of the rest of the meal. You'll have to find Luisa for the rest!

The Bread 
450g wholewheat Flour
50g buckwheat Flour
1 1/2 cup pitted olives
3 tsp dried yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup sparkling water
2 tbs oil + extra for brushing the dough.
1 tsp salt
1 tbs dried mixed herbs or fresh rosemary

Whisk the yeast and warm water until combined.
Combine the flours, olives and herbs in a bowl, add the olive oil, yeast water and salt.
Gradually add the sparkling water and mix until a dough forms. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.
Leave the dough in a bowl covered with cling wrap or a damp tea towel. Place in a warm spot for at least 2 hours (the longer the better.)
Preheat oven 200 degrees.
Once the dough is ready form it into whichever shape your heart so desires ie: bread stick or loaf, brush with olive oil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
For an extra crunchy crust, turn the oven on grill for the last 10 minutes.

I'm going to miss having Luisa's culinary skills around. Waking up to her breakfast surprises and spending evenings together plotting what to make for dinner. Chopping and tasting and salting. Sometimes we bounced off each other in the kitchen, other times we were very territorial. Either way the kitchen will be a quieter place without her here!

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