Tuesday, June 02, 2009


As today is the 63rd anniversary of the Italian Republic, I am naming the bread recipe that I invented this afternoon for it. [It also happens to be the 4th anniversary of the day Simi and I arrived to live in Sicily. Newer readers may like to read about that here. ] Don't worry - the bread's not green, white and red; in fact, it's an easy olive bread.

For this you will need some nice olives that have been preserved in oil and other flavourings. How many? I don't know - it depends on the size of them. About 24, probably. Today I proudly used some I had "bashed" and preserved myself, to my friend Linda's recipe. You will also need:

1 lb 00-type flour [or strong bread flour in the UK]
a good pinch of salt
half a cube yeast or a packet easy-blend yeast
1 teasp sugar
2 tablesp olive oil from the jar of olives
about 2 tablesp black olive paste
tepid water

Put everything except the olives and olive paste into a large bowl if you are going to use the dough hooks of a hand mixer or into the bowl of a food processor. [If you are using cubed yeast, crumble it in.] Add about 125 ml tepid water and mix. You may need to add a little more water to get a dough that comes together easily. Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a clean bowl, add the ball of dough and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave it to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Meanwhile, drain, stone and halve the olives.

When the dough has doubled in size, put it on a floured board and push it down. Then bash it about a bit. Pull it into as oblong a shape as you can, then dot about half the olives over it. Roll it up from a short end and shape it into an oblong loaf again. Bash it down again, stretch it out, and this time, spread the olive paste over it. Roll up as before.

Shape it again, stretch it out and add the rest of the olives.

Roll it up again and reshape into a loaf.

Put it into an oiled, 2lb loaf tin and bake in an oven pre-heated to 200 C for 30 mins. Leave it in the tin for about 5 mins, then shake it out of the tin [it should come out easily] and turn it onto a cooling tray. It is delicious hot, though I say so myself, so you only need to let it cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Viva la Repubblica!

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CherryPie said...

The bread looks delicious, what a lovely way to celebrate :-)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Such delicious Olive Bread, oh my favourite, yes as CherryPie says such a lovely way to celebrate..:-)

Unknown said...

Your bread looks amazing, I swear one day I'm going to visit for lunch! And you know I'll never get out fo the country without Mountaingirl and Abbey, so hope you can bake enough for all!

sally in norfolk said...

looks wondeful... I am lazy and make bread in a bread machine.... well its Geoffs bread machine and I have missed it .... really think i should have bought it here with me while hes been away.....

must say your bread looks delish :-)

James Higham said...

As a good republican, you would ahve celebrated that.

Lucia said...

Looks great! I have a question, do you still have ovens where you can take your bread to be baked. I used to make bread with my Nonna and we would take it to a public oven.

Maria said...

Oh my goodness... does that look beyond delish!!!!!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Cherie. I enjoyed celebrating that way. Thanks, Anne. Hi, Kyles. Wouldn't that be great? Hi, Sally. I like the "bashing" bit with bread! Yes, I would and I did, James. Hi, Lucia. I've read of that. I don't know of any here. I do know that ovens in homes are fairly recent historically and I still have some friends who only use their ovens as storage space! Thanks, M.

Ardent said...

Happy anniversary to you and Simi. :)

I am going to try this olive bread, it looks delicious. I have made olive bread before but I have never added olive paste. Great idea.

Whispering Walls said...

Let them eat bread!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Many thanks, Ardent. And brioche with granita, WW!

jmb said...

Congratulations on your 4th anniversary. You must be truly settled in now. A real Italian. Well maybe not yet. Still not enough pazienza but probably getting there.


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