Olive loaf

Olive loaf

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
one loaf
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

When I first made this bread I really wanted to use a mix of black and green olives, not only for appearance, but also for texture and flavour. There are a lot of olive loaves out there, but this one is different. We use a lot of olives and we marinate them first with loads of herbs. We also mix a tapenade through the dough to fully incorporate the olive flavour.

Marinated olives

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g green olives, pitted
250g black olives, pitted
1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
5 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
2 sprigs oregano, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
1 lemon, zested and quartered
1 tablespoon lemon olive oil

Method

  1. The day before you mix the dough, drain the olives well and put them in a bowl with all the marinade ingredients. Mix to combine, cover and leave at room temperature to marinate overnight.

Tapenade

Ingredients

Method

  1. Before you mix the dough, place 100 g (3½ oz) of olives from the marinade in a blender and blitz until you have a coarse paste. The coarse chunks will add texture and give the bread an extra olive hit. Place in a fine sieve over the sink to drain any excess liquid, then mix to combine with 140 g (5 oz) of marinated olives.

Started build

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g Starter
25g bakers flour
25g wholemeal flour
50g water

Method

  1. Around 4–6 hours before you plan to mix your dough, combine the starter, flours and water for the starter build, mixing well to combine. You will use 90 g (3 oz) of this for the dough; retain the rest for maintaining your starter.

Dough

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
90g Starter
330g bakers flour
90g wholemeal flour
290g water
8g salt
140g marinated olives
100g tapenade
30g bakers flour
30g semolina

Method

  1. At least 30 minutes before you plan to mix the dough, combine the flours and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix them with your hands until thoroughly combined, and then cover with a damp cloth and set aside for the autolyse.
  2. When the starter is ripe and bubbly, mix it with the flour and water, sprinkle over the salt and finish mixing the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for at least 30 minutes, before your first set of folds.
  3. Dust the remaining olives with the flour and semolina to coat. This will make it easier to incorporate them into the dough and distribute them evenly.
  4. Add the olives and the tapenade as you do the first turn and fold, ensuring they are evenly distributed.
  5. Complete four sets of folds, resting the dough in between each one for 30–45 minutes.
  6. After your last set of folds, cover your dough with a damp cloth and leave to prove at room temperature for 2–3 hours.
  7. If you have multiplied the recipe, divide the dough into individual loaves before you pre-shape. Pre-shape the dough, cover with a damp cloth and leave it to rest on the bench for 15–20 minutes.
  8. When the dough has relaxed, shape the dough as desired, then place it seam side up in a lightly floured proving basket. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight, until ready to bake.
  9. Preheat the oven to the maximum temperature and bake according to your preferred method. Once baked, tip the bread out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool.

Bakery notes

  • Make sure you use good quality olives. We use kalamata and mammoth olives from Mount Zero, in the Wimmera. They are the best I’ve tasted, and the flavour really comes through. The lemon olive oil we use for the marinade contains lemons pressed during extraction, which results in a true lemon flavour without any chemical notes. A high quality extra virgin olive oil would also work well. To avoid a wet, soggy dough, drain or squeeze excess brine and liquid from the olives before mixing them into the dough.

    The marinade prepares more olives than you will need for one loaf, but it will keep for months in the fridge for your next loaf. You will also use some of it to make the tapenade for the dough. If using after cold storage, take the olives out of the fridge and bring up to room temperature before using. I like to keep them on hand to eat as a pre-dinner snack.
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