Well basically this bread could have been anything, olive bread, walnut bread, garlic bread, onion bread, anything you wished for. What is important is that, unlike the previous breads that I was baking before, I did not need any kneading for this one. And it is such a relief! No sticky fingers and all that mess! So basically the idea is to make a sticky dough right in the beginning, and not care about the shape. Your loaf tin will take care of that, and since you are making it for yourselves at home and not selling, it doesn’t have to look like George Clooney. As long as it tastes good and is fluffy enough.

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The Olive Cheese bread – not George Clooney I told ya!

So this is what we need, basically the same things as normal bread:

  • Refined Flour – 2 cups (can be substituted*)
  • Dry Yeast – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Olives – 5-6 nos (sliced into rings)
  • Cheddar cheese – 5-6 pieces (diced into 1 cm cubes)
  • Milk – ¾ cup (27-30 deg C)
  • Water –  2 tbsp (27-30 deg C)
  • Olive oil – 1 tsp

Pour the water into a cup, add 1 tsp sugar and the yeast, leave aside for 10 mins until it is frothy enough.

Add the salt and remaining tsp of sugar to the flour, add the yeast mixture and enough milk to make a sticky dough. (stickier than usual, not runny though)

Cover with a wet cloth and leave aside for an hour till it rises to double the volume.

Lightly deflate it back with a fork, transfer it to the baking tin. Add the olives and cheese and lightly turn over the dough with the fork so that the olives and cheese bits are wedged inside the dough.

Cover again with a wet cloth and leave aside for an hour or more to rise, longer the better for an improved taste.

Uncover and bake at 160 deg C for 20-30 mins. Rest for another 5-10 mins after turning off the oven. Brush the top with olive oil once fully baked.

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Tip: You could leave a tray with water on the bottom shelf of the oven, and spray the inner walls of the oven with water occasionally during baking. Apparently it helps the bread rise a bit during baking and also makes it softer than usual. I do that with every bread, and it works for me.

Tip#2: If you wish to bake wholewheat bread, you could follow the same procedure by replacing the refined flour with wholewheat flour + 1/4th volume of refined flour (for the gluten to react with the yeast) I made one such bread with olive and flax seed topping, turned out pretty spongy too.

This was reposted as part of the Yeast Feasty event on KfB

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