This olive bread is so easy, yet delicious and authentic. The result is a very moist, healthy and fragrant bread that stays fresh for days. You can make life easier and make the dough in a bread machine.
4 1/2 cups (550g) bread flour
1 1/2 cups (185g) other flour of choice (whole wheat, rye, etc)
1/4 cup oat bran, optional
1 teaspoon bread improver, optional
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
70ml strong olive oil
3/4 cup pitted olives
1 heaped tablespoon tapenade
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Bread Machine: Place all ingredients, except for pitted olives, into a bread machine on dough cycle in the order suggested by the manufacturer and press start. Add more flour or water in small amounts if necessary; the dough should not be wet or sticky.
Mixer: If you do not have a bread machine place all of the ingredients except for olives into a food mixer and knead for 10-20 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour or water if necessary; the dough should not be wet or sticky. Let the dough rise in a warm place away from cold air for an hour or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has had its first rise gently deflate the air from it by punching or pushing it out.
Cut the dough into 2 pieces and roll out each piece into a thick rectangle. Sprinkle evenly the pitted olices then roll it up like a sausage (dust the surface to avoid sticking). Pinch together each end of the sausage to make nice loaf shapes. Dust each loaf with plenty of flour to give a nice finishing touch.
Place the loaves on greased baking trays and place in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees C and place a separate tray filled with some hot water on one of the shelves in the oven. This will give the bread a great crust.
Once the bread has risen slit the tops with a sharp knife to make it look attractive. Then place the bread into the hot oven.
Check the bread after 40 minutes and if crust is not very toasted and the bread does not sound hollow when tapped you need to keep it in longer. If desired increase the temperature of the oven to as high as possible for a few minutes to brown the crust.