A few days ago, I decided that I want to make a flavoured bread. My family and I had been enduring all the quite tasteless, dense and heavy white bread that I've been making. A change will be good. So, I decided to make an Olive Bread, Italian style, simply with olive oil, no other types of flavouring. I went on to research a little and I saw another bread that included Feta Cheese....ha...I have some feta cheese in the fridge, I should try it.
7.30pm Friday night, I started to mix my dough. Put aside to rise. I also researched on how I can keep my dough warm enough to rise with 2 hours instead of my usual 4-6 hours that I took in my cold house. I put in the bowl, covered up, and wrapped the whole bowl with my little blanket. That really works. At least it brought the temperature up. I checked, it was at 80F.
During the rise, I continue to research - this time I just had to get my proofing correct. I researched on how to make proof correctly and I found this website, lovely, http://www.redstaryeast.com/lessons/how_to_bake_videos.php. Video is so much better. I can see exactly how the dough should look like.
9pm - my dough is still not ready, go take a bath.
9.45pm - My dough is ready for shaping, to be added with olives. I cut the dough into 2 parts - 1/3 and 2/3. 1/3 - I added olive and feta cheese. 2/3 - only olives. As I rolled it up, it said to knead it and spread the olive well. I was thinking it was going to be disastrous, all the olives started spilling out. What do I do? ok. let rest.
I started with shaping the dough again using the shaping method I saw in the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MVHDdDtuRc. Shaping it into an oval, like a baguette shaping, pushing the olives in as I shape. Lovely, it's turning out pretty well. I was worried that I had deflated all the bubbles. Well, continue, I can't stop now.
Looking at the picture that I had, I had to flatten it a little, gently. There it is, I got my final shaping done. Now the cutting. I usually use my steak knife, its the sharpest I have. Using a sawing method, cut deep and create slashes. The book said to tuck in the sections, and I didn't understand until I saw that with the cutting, the shape was a little off, had to pat it back a little. Wonderful. Took me almost an hour to do this.
10.30pm - My dough is ready for proofing. I thought I'd just brush some olive oil before I proof. I had gotten my oven ready for the final proofing. wanted to try whether it works. Cover up the dough, put in a cup of water in the oven as well, to ensure that the environment stays moist. Did this once without the water and my dough was dry when it came out, almost like it was already a little baked.
11.15pm - checked dough, not ready. Using the finger test.
11.45 pm - Finger test pass. Excellent.
Heat up my oven at 200C. Brush the dough with olive oil again, set aside waiting for the oven to be ready.
11.50 pm - Tink - oven is ready. Pop my tray in, set 35 minutes. mmm the baking is a little uneven. 20 minutes and I turn the tray 180 degrees. Smells pretty good....
12.25 am - Tink - 35 mins up. hmmmmph.....1/3 dough looks good, pop the 2/3 back into oven and set another 6 mins. Put on the rack to cool. So tempting to cut this up immediately to see what it's like. Wait...patience....
12.35 am - Both are ready, and now cooling it down on a rack.
1.30am - Verdict - the smell was great, the taste was really good, soft on the inside, there was fluff!!! The holes were evenly spread out, and it was quite well lifted. I think I did it.
Improvement - need to spread the Olives evenly...
The inside - this time the proofing went well, and the taste is good. soft on the inside...
The Olive Bread with Feta Cheese
100g 550 german wheat flour
225g bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
100g cut pitted olives
a few pieces of feta cheese - cut up in small pieces.
23 Jan 2010