With so much more time at home these days and the desire for comfort food, there is nothing better than the smell of baking bread in the house. When I went searching for an easy bread recipe, I found many that can be made in a cast iron skillet that requires no kneading and only a few hours rise time. There are others that I have made that are also no knead but do require an overnight rise and can be cooked in a cast iron Dutch Oven.
This delicious and simple olive bread recipe requires little effort for a big tasty reward. From the recipes that I found online, I took the basics from the recipe and created my own version of the cast iron skillet olive bread.
The main ingredients are simple, and the Kalamata Olives and juice strained from the olive jar add some great flavors to the bread.
A fun thing to do when doing a barbecue on the grill, slice up the bread, smear with some butter or olive oil and toast it right on the grill. The smoky from the grill make this bread irresistible.
• 2 cups of lukewarm water
• 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
• ½ Tablespoon of Coarse Kosher Salt
• 4 1/3 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
• 1 9.5 ounce jar of pitted Greek Kalamata Olives
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
• Another ½ tablespoon of Coarse Kosher Salt
• ½ Tablespoon of dried parsley
• Cast Iron Skillet
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 2 cups of lukewarm water and the yeast, I actually like to use 1.5 cups of water and one half of a cup of the strained olive liquid from the Kalamata Olive Jar
2. Then add 1 cup of flour and salt and then stir the mixture together until completely combined
3. Strain the olives from the jar and then slice the olives in half, then mix the olives and the garlic powder into the mixture
4. Add the remaining flour, once cup at a time, stirring until thoroughly combined
5. Cover with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm spot to let rise for at least 1 hour, there is no problem if you let it rise a bit longer
6. Add one tablespoon of olive oil on to the surface of an 8-inch cast iron skillet. Use and napkin to spread it around evenly in the skillet. Coast the bottom and the sides of the cast iron skillet with the olive oil.
7. After the bread has risen for at least an hour, flour your hands generously, remove the plastic wrap and transfer the dough to the oiled skillet and shape it into a disk
8. Cover the skillet with a kitchen towel and let it sit for at least 30 minutes
9. Preheat your oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit
10. Drizzle or use a cooking brush and spread gently over the top of the bread before you put it into the over, then mix the coarse salt and the dried parsley in a bowl and sprinkle the top of the bread with the mixture.
11. Gently score the top of the loaf with a knife
12. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or if need be a little bit longer until the top is nicely browned
13. Remove the cast iron pan from the oven, be sure to use an oven mitt. And then immediately take the bread out of the pan and place it on a cooling rack
14. Leave it to cool for a little while before slicing
15. Serve and enjoy its deliciousness
· Strain the olives from the jar and put the olives into a bowl, strain the olive juice from the jar to separate all of the spices in the liquid so that the liquid is free of any of the spices and herbs
· If you do not have a cast iron skillet, you can use a stoneware baking dish instead
· It is very import to remove the bread from the pan as soon as possible as it comes out of the over. Bread left in the pan will get moist and soggy.
This is an easy recipe that you can make in advance and then cook later or make several batches and then freeze one of the loaves so that you can pull it out an use it another day. One of my favorite things to do is to bring a loaf or two along with us on our camping trips and then slice it up and smear it with olive oil, then put it directly onto the BBQ grill. It makes for a yummy side to your evenings grilled steak, chicken, fish or any of your favorite camping recipes. You will be such a Happy Camper!
Article and Recipe by Dynie Sanderson - NapaFoodGalTravels
All Photos Photgraphed by Dynie Sanderson