It’s weird that I grew up never trying an olive. Olives are just not something Southern people eat that is unless you count the canned ones. Actually the canned ones were the only olives that I had ever tried and the reason that I hated olives. Olives are popular pretty much everywhere else in the world including here in Saudi. About a year ago I took the plunge and tried real ‘fresh’ olives. I mean it was pretty weird that I loved the taste of olive oil yet did not like olives, right? I instantly fell in love with green and black olives from Spain, Black olives from Greece. Saudi has olive bars everywhere and you can try and buy all of them. Long story short I now LOVE olives and I love using them in recipes hence this crispy yet soft golden Italian loaf.
12 ounces all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 ounces warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 black olives, stoned and quartered
1. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, yeast and thyme. Make a well in center and add water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Mix to a dough consistency and knead for 10 minutes. Place the dough in a large oiled plastic bag. Seal and leave in a warm place for one hour or until doubled.
3. Turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead lightly. Flatten with your hands. Sprinkle over the olives and knead in top. Shape dough into a long oval and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise for 45 minutes.
4. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Drizzle over remaining oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden.
Yields: 1 loaf