Home Bread-Bakers v097.n047.14

Olive Braid

"Bobbi Terkowitz" <bterk@vion.com>
Wed, 16 Jul 1997 08:49:46 -0400
I dug out my recipe for my family's favorite bread, and here it is.  The
olive pestos are also called olivada (black) and oliverde (green), and I
buy them at a local deli (brand name San Remo).  Dean & Deluca also carries
them, and I'm pretty sure they do mail order (over the Internet even, I
believe).  You can also make the pestos yourself; I have a recipe that says
2 cups of olives to 1/4 cup olive oil; 1 tsp thyme in the black pesto and
1/2 tsp black pepper in the green.  (You can also throw in anchovies and
capers if you want.)  Process to a smooth paste.

The bread recipe comes from King Arthur's cookbook, and they in turn got it
from Robin Voight, who runs a baking business in Connecticut called Kochen
Coq, Inc.  The recipe makes four good-sized loaves, or you can make three
really big ones, or two really, really big...you get the idea.  Enjoy!

Ligurian Olive Braid

Green Olive Pesto Dough
1 cup warm water
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP yeast
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup green olive pesto
1 tsp salt

Pour the warm water into a bowl.  Stir in 1 cup flour and the yeast.  Let
sit until the yeast has dissolved and the whole mixture has expanded.  Stir
in the olive oil, pesto, and salt.  Add the balance of the flour gradually.
 Knead three to four minutes, until the dough becomes cohesive.  Give the
dough a rest while you clean out and grease your bowl.  When you return to
the dough it will be more pliable and "together."  Continue kneading until
it is soft, smooth, and elastic.  Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl,
turning it over to grease the top.  Cover and set aside to double in bulk.

Black Olive Pesto Dough
Make this second dough just as you did the first but use black olive pesto
rather than the green.  Put aside to rise while you make the third dough.

Olive Oil Dough
1 1/4 cups warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP yeast
1 TBSP butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt

Make as above, adding the butter, olive oil, and salt to the proofed water,
flour, and yeast.

You may have to knock down the first two doughs and let them begin to rise
a second time to give the third dough enough time for a complete rise. 
[Or, let the first two doughs rise in the refrigerator until the third
dough is ready to begin its rise, then take the first two out to warm as
the third dough rises.]

After all the doughs have doubled at least once, divide each into four
equal sized pieces.  Roll each into a rope about 15 inches long.

Take three strands of dough, one of each color [careful?the green and olive
oil doughs look a lot alike!], and braid.  Repeat with other strands until
you have 4 loaves.  Place on a lightly greased baking sheet with at least 3
inches between the loaves for expansion.  Cover with a damp towel and let
them rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  

Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 425F.  Beat one egg
white with 1 tsp water to make a wash, and brush over the tops of the
loaves.  Sprinkle braids with kosher salt.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425F.  Turn the oven down to 375F and bake for a
further 20 to 25 minutes.  (If you're baking larger loaves, after 20
minutes at 375F, turn the heat down once more to 350F and bake a further 10
to 15 minutes.

The braids are done when they are golden brown and sound hollow when
thumped on the bottom.  Cool on a rack.  When they are thoroughly cool,
seal any loaves you want to freeze in airtight plastic bags.

I also promised Reggie this next recipe, since I made him drool...(it's my
FORMER favorite bread)  The recipe comes from The Italian Baker by Carol

Rosemary Bread

1 TBSP yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup milk, room temperature
1/3 cup less 1 TBSP olive oil
4 TBSP fresh rosemary or 2 TBSP dried
1 TBSP plus 1 tsp salt
About 6 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, kosher salt, or pretzel salt

Stir the yeast into the water; let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. 
Stir in the milk and oil.  Combine the rosemary, salt, and flour and add to
the yeast mixture.  Knead until velvety, elastic, and smooth?8-10 minutes
by hand.  It should be somewhat moist and blistered.

Place the dough in a oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let
rise until doubled, 1 1/2 hours.  

Punch down dough, but do not knead.  Cut in half and shape each half into a
ball.  Place each ball on a lightly oiled baking sheet, cover with a towel,
and let rise 45 to 55 minutes (but not until truly doubled.

Heat the oven to 450F.  Just before you put the loaves in the oven, slash
the top of each in an asterisk with a razor blade and sprinkle half the sea
salt into the cuts.  [I use an egg white wash to act as glue for the salt.]
Bake 10 minutes, spraying three times with water.  Reduce the heat to 400F
and bake 30 to 35 minutes longer.  Cool on racks.