French Bread With Kalamata Olives and Thyme

Total Time
1hr 20mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 40 mins

The recipe calls for spraying the oven with water (Simply use a spray bottle with tap water says the recipe) because extra humidity makes the outside of the bread crusty. You can also use an oven proof skillet with about 2 cups of boiling water in it, just place it on the floor of the oven before adding the bread to bake. Makes 2 small loaves. Please note that this asks that the bread be all hand made but I used my stand mixer with the dough hook and the bread turned out great. The 40 min prep includes rising time.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Bring milk to simmer in small saucepan. Add butter and sugar; stir until butter melts. Pour mixture into large bowl. Add 1/2 cup room-temperature water, the Greek yogurt and cool mixture until lukewarm (85°F to 95°F), about 10 minutes.
  2. Add yeast; stir to blend. Stir in olives, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and salt. Add 1 cup flour. Using wood spoon, stir until flour is incorporated. Add 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, and stir vigorously with wood spoon until incorporated after each addition. If necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour until dough is smooth and begins to pull away from sides of bowl.
  3. Oil large bowl. Transfer dough to bowl; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. For do-ahead version: Chill dough overnight. For same-day version: Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes (do not punch down dough).
  4. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 500°F Oil large baking sheet. Turn dough out onto floured work surface (to avoid deflating, do not punch down dough and do not knead dough). Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Gently form (do not knead) each piece into baguette 15 inches long by 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches wide (dough will not be smooth).
  5. Transfer baguettes to prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft-free area until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes for refrigerated dough and 15 minutes for room-temperature dough.
  6. Brush top of each loaf lightly with egg white. Generously spray inside of oven with water (about 8 sprays); immediately place loaves in oven. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and continue to bake until loaves are deep golden and sound hollow when tapped, about 35 minutes. Cool on rack.
  7. TIP:.
  8. Oil your hands before starting to work with the dough. It really helps.