Unsalted Kalamata olives are a very interesting ingredient. They are very different than any other Kalamata olives you’re used to eating. The lack of salt makes all other flavours become more intense. What do we mean by that? Imagine an olive with a more fruity olive-y taste. An olive with the acidity of vinegar biting you gently. And that olive paired with mellow Spartan extra virgin olive oil and wild herbs from the Mt. Taygetus. Add to that the fact that they have been hand picked, hand selected, cured in fresh water and they have not been pasteurised. You see where we are going with this?
Unsalted Kalamata olives are a very unique ingredient.
And sure you can enjoy them plain or in salads. But because of their unique flavour they change anything plain to super interesting. They add colour to a white canvas and they do not overpower the dish with added saltiness.
What is the whitest of canvasses for a cook? White bread of course.
So here it is, for this week, a recipe for bread that comes to life with the unsalted olives. Oh and we’ve added some sun dried tomatoes and oregano, too. But we’ll tell you more about the beauty of our sun dried tomatoes and oregano another time.
Makes 1 loaf
500g strong bread flour
1 sachet (7g) of yeast
1 tbs of salt
1-2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
375ml of lukewarm water
1 tbs oregano
50g unsalted olives, finely chopped
50g sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
Mix the yeast with water and stir gently until it dissolves. Add the olive oil. Mix the salt with the flour on a clean surface. Make a hole in the middle and slowly incorporate the water-yeast, stirring with a fork or with your fingers until all ingredients are combined together. Dust a bowl with flour and place your dough inside. Let it rise for a few hours, until double in size.
Dust a surface with flour and kneed the dough, adding the olives, sun dried tomatoes and oregano, until all ingredients seem to have combined evenly. Don’t kneed too much though. Shape a loaf (shape it as you wish) and let it rise until again doubles in size.
Bake at very hot oven (250oC), by placing your loaf on a pre-heated baking tray. It takes about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven once your bread is golden brown and responds with a hollow noise when you tap its bottom. Wait until it cools down to cut. Or don’t. Hot bread makes right all that’s wrong in the world.