Sunday, September 29, 2013

Olive Walnut Bread

Ever since purchasing a Kitchen Aid mixer last month, the hubs has been regularly making white bread with packaged yeast.   Before the mixer came into our lives, we baked sourdough using a starter and kneaded the dough by hand.  I chucked out our not-so-stellar sourdough starter before going on a two-week holiday back in July and haven't been inspired to begin another one.  Keeping a tub of gooey, flour-y mess healthy and teeming with yeast seemed, ultimately, too hard to maintain. 

Gone are the days of seeing bread baking as some sort of 'hard work'.  How we now make bread feels quite easy in comparison.  Of course, I am not complaining and I do like having kitchen tasks made easy.  The mixer kneads the bread in about ten minutes and the rise time, presumably because of the robustness of the dried yeast, seems to be cut in half, from approximately 7 hours, or so, to 4 hours.  Hubs can basically make this loaf with his eyes closed and for that I am glad.  Lately, though, I have been itching to bake a loaf with a bit of pizazz.

Yesterday, I found what I was looking for when happened upon an olive loaf recipe while thumbing through a free newspaper from Josefwiese.

Here is the recipe compliments of Bettina Bär, head chef at Kiosk Josefwiese:

1kg light spelt flour
2 packages of yeast
1 tbsp. sea salt, or a bit less if the olives used are quite salty
1 handful of green olives
1 small bunch of parsley or basil, finely cut
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
approximately 1/3 cup very warm water (in order for yeast to activate), approximately 21/2 cups warm water or just enough until dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl

We halved the above recipe, omitted the herbs, added walnuts, and, instead of spelt, we used 'Bauernmehl' which is a mixture of flours: spelt, wheat and rye.

Put all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, then add the nuts and olives, both fairly well chopped, and mix together by hand a few minutes.  Attach the mixing bowl to its base on the mixer, then add the yeast and 1/3 cup of water while the dough mixes.  Then slowly add the warm water until the dough forms into a ball and comes away from the sides of the mixing bowl.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a well-formed ball.  Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover either with a moist towel or plastic wrap for approximately 1 to 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.  Turn dough out onto baking sheet and bake at 200c for 30 to 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

After ten minutes in the mixer.
Being formed into a ball.
Rolling around an oiled bowl.
Ready to rise!

Finished product

Hubs trying a piece.

My slice!


  1. Ooo... You certainly made a good point -- having a stand mixer does take the "chore" out of baking breads. In fact, I procrastinate so much on my bread baking due to having to work it by hand :( One day I will get myself a KitchenAid mixer. One day...

    1. Yeah, the hand mixing coupled with the starter maintenance slowly took its toll. To be honest, if I had had a better more robust starter, then 'by hand' part of the 'chore' would have been still bearable. The mixer is like a little kitchen Elf who does all the hard work for you!


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