Thursday, December 17, 2009

Judy's Olive Bread

Some years ago, my wife and I spent a week in Venice. I'm cheap so it wasn't a lavish vacation. It was a cheap week in the off-season. For lunch one day we stopped at a small bakery and bought some fresh olive bread.

Wow! Eureka! This stuff was good! No, it was great!

The Venetian olive bread was a very small loaf which released oodles of green olive flavour when one took a bite. You see, the loaf had an inside cavity lined with mozzarella and filled with juicy, green olives.

A bottle of Prosecco, a popular white in Venice, a loaf of freshly baked olive bread and a Venetian piazza - ah, what more could one ask for? I found that the olive bread and wine made Venice glow even in the off-season. Well, maybe it was not the bread.

It is said that Prosecco is the "perfect compliment to the small sandwiches and finger foods that compose the Venetian lunch."

Judy has tried to make Venetian olive bread, and at one point came close, but she lost the recipe. The following is her second attempt. It's good but I think she has some work ahead of her if she wants to duplicate our Venetian experience.

If you'd like to try Judy's olive bread, make some bread dough - a bread making machine makes this easy - and make the dough for a two pound loaf. This is the perfect amount. When the dough is done, remove it from the machine and punch it down; Let it rest for ten minutes. Then divide it in half and flatten each half into a rectangle.

This post adds to an older one, improving upon the original recipe.

Cover half of one rectangle (lengthwise) with mozzarella cheese. Use good quality deli mozzarella. Spread drained olives on top of the cheese. Cover with more mozzarella and fold the bread over, sealing by dampening the dough with a little water.

Now, make the second loaf using the remaining dough and preparing it as above. Let both loaves rest for 45 minutes, giving the yeast time to work and the loaves time to rise.

Slash both loaves three times on top to allow the release of steam and place the loaves on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Enjoy. And oh, remember to uncork some wine; A crisp, flinty Chardonnay is a good choice. The wine is important, very important.

1 comment:

  1. Okay--I'm sold...I will definitely have to try this!