Savor the satisfaction of crafting your own Olive Herb Bread—an endeavor that’s not only simple but consistently delivers a crusty and light loaf. Baking this bread in a cast iron pan is a game-changer. Here’s why: it ensures even heat distribution, promotes excellent oven spring (that final rise in the oven), locks in moisture, and offers versatility for both dough preparation and baking. These elements combine to create a loaf with a delightfully crispy crust and a soft, fluffy interior.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Olive Herb Bread:
2 cups of warm water
2 and 1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1/2 tbsp salt
6 cups Flour
1/4 cup Chopped Olives
3 tbsp. Chopped Garlic (or more, to taste)
1 tbsp Rosemary
1 tbsp. Oregano
2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. Olive oil
The Baking Process:
Activate the Yeast: Begin by mixing warm water with sugar and yeast. Allow the yeast to activate; you’ll notice it becoming frothy, a sign of its readiness.
Knead the Dough: Gradually add in the flour and knead the mixture until it reaches a sticky consistency. Incorporate the salt, dried herbs, garlic, olives, parsley, and olive oil into the dough. Continue kneading for another 5–6 minutes until the dough becomes sticky and shaggy.
First Rest: Grease a clean bowl with olive oil and transfer the dough into it, ensuring the dough is well coated with oil. Cover the bowl with a moist cloth and allow it to rest for 2 hours. During this time, the dough will rise and develop its characteristic flavor.
Shape and Second Rest: After the initial rise, deflate the dough and bring it together. Add a small amount of oil to your cast iron pan. Shape the bread and seal the sides by tucking them in. Place the shaped dough into the pan, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rest for another 20 minutes. This second rest allows the dough to relax and rise further.
Baking Perfection: Just before baking, drizzle the dough with olive oil to enhance its flavor and create a beautiful crust. Bake the bread in a preheated oven at 180°C for 35–40 minutes. Monitor it closely, as oven temperatures can differ. You’ll know it’s done when the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Serve and Enjoy: Once baked, allow the Olive Herb Bread to cool for a bit. Following that, slice it and serve, whether hot or cold, alongside your preferred selection of toppings and spreads. Each bite is a burst of flavor and texture that will leave you craving more.
Crafting your own Olive Herb Bread is a rewarding experience, and when you bake it in a cast iron pan, the results are simply outstanding. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting, this recipe guarantees a perfect loaf every time. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a journey to create the perfect Olive Herb Bread—a delightful treat for all occasions.