Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Olive Cheese Bread

A friend of mine asked me what I thought about making some bread this past weekend. I was pretty excited as I'm new to the world of bread. Our first attempt at a loaf of whole wheat beer bread turned out awesome a few weekends ago, so we wanted to experiment with something completely different. He found this wonderful recipe for Olive Cheese Bread and we made it our mission to try it.

We went to Whole Foods and purchased our bread flour, olives, and cheese. I had a few packets of yeast hanging out at home, so I brought them along to his house. We sliced up the green olives and measured out the cheese. Added flour and sour cream. He mixed up all the ingredients, greased up an enormous stock pot so it had room to grow, let it sit for 2 hours, punched it down, and waited some more. The only problem? It did not double in size.

We looked over the recipe and wondered what was wrong. Was anything wrong? Why wasn't the dough filling up the entire stock pot like we imagined? Why after 2 hours does it look like it gained a bit of a belly, but not the massive amount of girth we were expecting? We shrugged our shoulders and decided to just carry on.

Finally we put it in the oven and waited, mouths watering, enjoying the smell coming out of the kitchen.

When we decided the top was sufficiently brown and toasty, we took it out of the oven. I swear it took all of our energy not to cut into it right away. After letting it cool for what seemed like an eternity, we sliced into it.

It was delicious.

This bread did not turn out like any bread I've ever had. It was dense and moist and had so much flavor from the cheese and olives that I was pretty surprised. Spread a little butter on top of a slice and you're in heaven.

But we kept asking each other: is this how it's supposed to turn out? The photo in the recipe wasn't all that great, so it was hard to tell if it should be a dense bread or a fluffier bread. Did we not use enough flour? Was the yeast dead? Is 1/2 cup sour cream too much? We are novices when it comes to baking bread, so we had so many unanswered questions.

We've decided that it doesn't matter. This Olive Cheese Bread was so delicious just the way it turned out that we decided that yes, this is how it should be. That's how we roll.


1 cup of warm water
1 package of dry yeast
Teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of sour cream
4 even cups of bread flour
1 cup each of black olives and green olives
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
Greased bread loaf pan
Greased large mixing bowl (stainless steel is best)

1. Dissolve your package of yeast in one cup of warm to hot water. Be sure the yeast has completely dissolved in the water before adding it to any other ingredients.

2. Adding the ingredients for making the best olive cheese loaf you have ever had is next. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, sour cream, olives and the package of cheese. Mix around a bit and add yeast solution to the mixture.

3. Knead mixture until it forms a dough. Add dough to greased mixing bowl and cover with towel for about 2 hours until the dough has risen twice it's original size.

4. Punch dough in the middle to release the air that has accumulated, once it has risen after two hours of resting. Place inside greased loaf pan, cover once again for about 30 minutes and allow it to rise again.

5. Place inside 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy.

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