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Anyone who doubts the importance of bread to earlier peoples might reflect that “Bethlehem” means “City of Bread”

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Olive My Dreams

Olive My DreamsThis bread taught me a lot about baking commercially. A bakery in town had a Kalamata Olive loaf and they charged a lot for it and didn't have as many olives in it as I'd have liked. When I began baking commercially I realized that as a hobbyist I paid more for the olives in my loaf of bread than the other baker was selling his loaf for.

As a commercial baker, I needed a compromise. I wanted more olives, but I wanted to sell an affordable loaf. We found mixing Kalamata olives and California ripe olives worked very nicely. Our blind taste panels actually preferred the olive blend to the straight Kalamata olive bread. If you decide to make this with all Kalamata olives, cut the salt back by about 1/3, as the Kalamata olives add a lot of salt themselves.

It delighted me that our customers loved our olive breads.  BreadS?  Yeah, we had about 4 or 5 olive breads.  The other recipes are in our forthcoming cookbook on Flavored Breads.  With luck, it will be out before Christmas.

As usual, this makes two 1.5 pound loaves.


Volumetric Measure (Cups)IngredientGramsBaker's Percentage (4)
1 2/3 CupsWater390 Grams54%
7/8 CupActive Sourdough Starter230 Grams31%
1/2 CupKalamata Olives, whole, pitted and drained (1)73 Grams10%
1 1/4 CupCalifornia ripe black olives, whole, pitted, and drained (1)150 Grams20%
5 2/3 CupsBread Flour730 Grams100%
2 tspSalt14 Grams1.9%
1 1/2 tspDried Rosemary (2)1.5 Grams0.2%
1 1/4 tspCrushed Red Peppers3 Grams0.4%

  1. You can vary the ratio between the Kalamata and California black Olive My Dreams nutritinal analysisolives to suit your taste. Some of our tasters found the all Kalamata to be too strong and the all California to be too bland. Our accountant found the all Kalamata to be too pricey. Play with the olive mix until you make a bread you love.
  2. If you can use find and use fresh rosemary, that helps the taste of the bread considerably. Use about 6 grams or 2 TBSP of fresh rosemary.

If you are kneading the dough by hand or with a mixer, add the olives at the end of the dough development. Then cover the dough and allow it to double in size.

If you are developing the dough with the stretch and fold technique,A closeup of the crumb - yum! add the olives at the start of the dough development. When the stretch and folds are complete, allow the dough to rest another hour.

When the rise or rest are completed, form a loaf, cover, and allow to rise until doubled. Bake on tiles in a preheated 375F/190C oven for about 40 minutes.

One other thing that this bread taught us was that a catchy name helps.  Rosemary olive bread sold, but not as well as "Olive My Dreams".  Each of our olive breads had a punny (or is that punishing) name.  It helped.  Really.




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