Mediterranean Olive Bread

Recipe by SpchTeachCooks
READY IN: 3hrs 15mins
SERVES: 8-12
YIELD: 1 loaf
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
  • 1
    tablespoon active dry yeast (I use an individual size packet which I think is a Tbsp.)
  • 34
    cup warm water (not boiling, just abot 110 degrees or you'll kill the yeast)
  • 14
    cup sugar
  • 12
    cup butter (room temp.)
  • 4
    large eggs
  • 5
    cups all-purpose flour (approximately, can be slightly less (or more)
  • 1
    cup pimento-stuffed green olives (can use any size)
  • 1
    egg yolk
  • 2 -3
    garlic cloves (sliced or chopped, roasted or regular) (optional)
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DIRECTIONS

  • Combine yeast and warm water in small bowl and let stand about 5 minutes.
  • In large mixer bowl, beat sugar and butter until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, then finally stir in yeast mixture.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and beat at medium speed for 10 minutes Stir in 1 1/2 cups more flour just till moistened. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead, adding flour to prevent sticking , until dough is smooth (about 7 mins.). Put dough in a lightly greased bowl and turn over to grease the top.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until dough is doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours (I find my oven, even when turned off, is the warmest place in my house).
  • Drain olives well, then pat dry.
  • Turn dough out on a lightly floured board and knead to expel air; add flour to prevent sticking. Pat dough into a 14-16 inch square. Scatter olives eenly over the dough and press in lightly. (Optional, at this point I also like to add my garlic and scatter it between the olives).
  • Roll up dough to enclose olives and place seam side down on a greased 12x15 inch baking sheet. Turn open ends of dough under to make a smooth surface. Pat loaf to flatten and shape it into an oval about 1 3/4 inches thick. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until puffy, about 30 minutes.
  • Uncover loaf and brush with egg yolk. Bake in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven that's been preheated, baking about 45 minutes Transfer to rack to cool for at least 10 minutes Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • If made ahead, let cool, package airtight, and let stand overnight at room temperature Freeze to store longer; let thaw, wrapped, at least 6 hours. To reheat, place unwrapped loaf on a 12x15 inch pan in a 325 degree oven for 20-30 minutes
  • (The original recipe also recommended using either unsalted butter or "Anchovy Butter [food process 5 drained anchovy fillets with 1/2 cup unsalted butter, and it can be stored covered and chilled for up to a week] but I don't use it since my children would refuse anything with Anchovies.).
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