This small batch recipe for homemade Kalamata Olive and Onion Bread is easy to make and full of tangy kalamata olives and aromatic onions. The loaf has a perfectly crispy exterior crust, and a soft and spongy interior.
Homemade Kalamata Bread
I adapted this Kalamata and Onion bread from Paul Hollywood’s Corriander, Olive and Onion Bread. If you don’t have his How To Bake cookbook, and you enjoy making bread, I highly recommend it! Not only does he share delicious bread recipes, but there is also an abundance of tips and tricks when it comes to baking bread at home.
I have noted that this bread is easy to make, and I stand by that. However, the dough does need 3 ‘proofings’. Meaning time for the dough to get its wonderful yeasty flavor – i.e. the yeast in the dough is fermenting and forming.
I also stand by the statement that this is the most flavorful bread I have made (so far)!
I was cleaning out my fridge and wondering what to do with an onion that was about to make a trip to the trash. Along with a jar of kalamata olives that had never been opened. I guess I had good intentions of making a salad at one point, and obviously never got around to it.
Getting Started – Mixing the Bread Dough
The proofing aside, making the dough couldn’t be easier. This is a small batch bread loaf recipe. Though, you definitely can get a few servings out of it.
- To mix and knead the dough – Let your stand mixer do all of the work. Though, if you prefer the traditional technique of mixing the dough by hand, you will probably need to knead (hee hee ) the dough for at least 10 minutes by hand.
- Start the mixer on low – When you start to mix all of the ingredients. You do not want flour all over the kitchen. Then you will crank up the speed to medium-high and let the dough hook do its magic. I have noted that you may not need all of the water, or you may need more. A variety of factors influence this and you just have to let the dough tell you what it needs. Once all of the flour has been picked up from the sides of the bowl, you will stop adding water.
- Let the mixer work – While the dough is kneading in the stand mixer, do not worry about the erratic shaking of the mixer. Or the dough hitting the sides of the mixing bowl. This is just your mixer doing its job and getting all of that gluten formed in the dough.
Proofing the Dough
One of the reasons this bread is so delightful is the amount of time we give it to proof. While it is proofing, the yeast if fermenting. Giving way to the undeniable flavor of good, yeasty bread.
Where to let your dough sit and proof is important.
- It should sit in a warm place in your kitchen.
- The temperature inside and outside can have an effect on the proof. With this, I typically place my dough in the cabinet above my oven to proof. If you have a wall oven. If not, you can tuck it inside of your oven (while it is off!)
- I also proof my dough in a large plastic Tupperware. I like using these because they are clear and I can see the dough growing. Just take notice on how much space your dough takes up in the container when you start. You want the dough to double in size, so the clear, see-through container is perfect for this.
Flavoring the Bread
After the first proof, you will add your flavor mix-ins.
For this stage, I do recommend kneading in the olives and onions by hand. This gives you better control to manipulate mixing in the olives and onions.
A word of caution – it will seem like the dough is ruined once you start to knead in the mix-ins. Do not worry. It will take a while to get everything incorporated evenly and the dough will start to smooth back out.
The Final Proof
After you have mixed in your olives and onions, the dough needs another rest. But before that, we are going to shape and cut the dough. Cut the dough? What the heck do you mean?!
We use kitchen scissors to cut deep ‘gashes’ along the top of the bread. Doing this makes sure we don’t get weird cracks in the bread. It also prevents large air pockets from forming inside the loaf.
Once the dough loaf is ready, this time it goes on the baking sheet and inside a large plastic bag. I use large oven roasting bags like the ones used to roast turkeys. Putting the dough loaf inside the plastic bag prevents a skin from forming on top of the dough while it is in its last proof.
Baking the Bread
Finally – the smells of a gourmet bakery in your own kitchen! Since we can’t poke a toothpick in the center of the kalamata olive and onion bread to know it is done, how do we know?
Bread is pretty cool in that it will tell you it’s done by the sound it makes when you tap its bottom. Just be careful when doing this – the bread is hot! All you do is pick up the loaf of bread (wear an oven mitt!), tap on the bottom and if it sounds hollow, it is done.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to flavors of this bread loaf. The base of the bread is a great must-have recipe and can be adapted with any flavor combinations you like! Though, it is hard to beat olives and onions … 🙂
Kalamata Olive and Onion Bread
- 3/4 cup water, room temperature
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 and 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives - drained, dried and chopped
- 1 small onion - peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Coat the inside of a medium bowl with olive oil. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the chopped olives, onions and oregano. Mix to combine and set aside.
- In a small liquid measuring cup, add 1/4 cup of the water and the yeast. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top. Stir and set aside until the yeast becomes foamy. About 5-8 minutes.
- In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour, salt, olive oil, half of the remaining water and the foamy yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are just combined, then turn up the speed to medium-high. Continue to add the remaining water a little at a time, until all of the flour has been picked up from the sides of the bowl. You may need more or less water.
- Continue to mix the dough on medium-high speed for at least 5 minutes. The dough will slap the sides of the bowl, which is ok. The dough should be soft and smooth after about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a dry kitchen towel and set in a warm area to proof for 60-90 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Add the olive mixture and knead the dough until they are evenly distributed through the dough. There is a lot to mix in and it will become easier to mix as you continue to knead.
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover again and let proof again for another 30 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Tip the dough back onto a lightly floured surface and and flatten into a rough rectangle with your hands. Then roll the dough up like a sausage. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet and using kitchen scissors, cut deep grooves perpendicularly along the top of the dough.
- Slide the baking sheet inside of a clean plastic bag (a large turkey roasting bag works great!) and proof again for 1 more hour, or until it has at least doubled in size again and springs back quickly when poked with your finger.
- While the dough is in its last proof, preheat the oven to 425F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- Bake the bread for 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom of it. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature!