Rosemary Olive bread

Back when I worked full-time I loved to buy the artisan breads at Whole Foods. Wonderful texture, good flavor, I’m sure you love to buy them too. Now that we live in a small town there’s no Whole Foods, and while Safeway makes passable bread it’s just not quite as good. So I thought I’d give making my own rosemary garlic bread, with kalamata olives a try.
rosemary oil and olives

I picked some fresh rosemary from the garden. Since it’s winter I figured the oils in the rosemary wouldn’t be as pungent, but they didn’t seem to be affected. Note: I have three different varieties of rosemary out there, and two of them are greatly affected by the weather and are pretty dried up and shriveled, but one of the plants still has vibrant green needles. I wish I could name the variety, but I didn’t pay attention. Anyway, I pulled the needles from the 5-inch sprig, and crushed them up with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and two small cloves of garlic. When it came time to add the oil to the bread dough, I discarded half the needles but I wish I would have left them in. I discarded a couple big chunks of garlic, too, and I should have left them in. Then I pitted enough olives to make about a quarter cup of meat, and added those to the dough. Here’s how the loaf turned out:

This is a white bread, so the coloring comes entirely from the olives, which were beat into miniscule pieces during the mixing process. I should have let the bread machine do all the mixing, and THEN added the olives and needles so that they’d retain some of their size. The bread tastes fine, it smelled terrific while baking, but I’d rather bite down on a chunk of olive now and then. I didn’t realize the mixer would beat them to pieces. In the future I won’t chop the olives at all, and just hope a few of them make it through whole.

Lastly, while you’re at the oil stage, make up extra rose-mary garlic oil and use it for dipping instead of buttering your bread. Mangi!

Oh, also, one last thing, I picked up the kalamta olives at the dollar store. Yep, the dollar store. And they are just as good as some I’ve spent much more for, and better than some I’ve spent more for! I thought since they were going to be tested in bread that I didn’t want to experiment with the high dollar. These were terrific, and the jar has enough for about 3 loaves of bread.

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