Bread 101 is tackling a simple and everyday bread today. Great when served with a bowl of pasta, a hearty soup, a chunk of meat or a simple stew. What I like about this versatile bread is that all the ingredients will be already be in your pantry. This is the Olive Oil Bread. Olive oil produces a nice soft crumb and a tender crust, making this one of the most versatile breads to make. Try an additions and combinations of your choice: olives, fresh herbs, garlic, cheese or even sun dried tomatoes. An honest bread that is easy, quick and so tasty. Perfect for someone who is afraid to bake with yeast.
Our guest today is Nancy, from Spicie foodie, a photographer extraordinaire currently living in Europe. Over the last few months, Nancy has been put together a great tutorial with excellent tips and tricks for food photography. She covers topics on how to style your stew to how to size images for the web. Her cooking/ baking skills come to her as easily as her photography. She puts out an incredible variety of food on her blog be it an indian curry or gnocchi or even a pumpkin pie cheesecake.
Take it away, Nancy.
Hi Baker Street readers, I’m Nancy and I blog at Spicie Foodie. Thank you Anuradha for inviting me to participate in your Bread 101 series, it’s a pleasure.
While I don’t consider myself a master baker like our talented host Anuradha, tackling a basic yeast bread is a walk in the park. I promise that even the most novice bakers can handle this simple olive oil bread. The recipe I’m going to share is one of my favorites and go to bread recipes. It is a small loaf perfect for a small family.
Why is yeast so intimidating to so many of us? Is it because yeast is a single-celled living organism, which has to die in order for our breads to rise? Perhaps. But in reality the reason for being intimidated by yeast is probably more based on fear that our breads won’t rise. When I began baking with yeast that was always a concern in the back of my head. Nowadays I’m more comfortable baking with yeast.
I personally found a few steps or tips that helped get me get over my fear of yeast. The first was making sure the liquid called for in bread recipes was warm. The warm temperature helps the yeast activate. Many recipes will give you exact temperatures that the water should be. I don’t use a thermometer, instead I go by what feels like luke warm temperature. The next tip that always put me at ease about yeast rising is proofing. Yeast proofing is when the yeast is dissolved in warm liquid before bringing all ingredients together. By proofing the yeast I can then see if it foams, which means the yeast is alive, or if nothing happens then the yeast is dead and no good for baking. In cases when the yeast does not foam then I simply discard the water yeast mix and begin all over. That way I won’t have to wait until the bread is baked and end up with a flat, heavy brick of a bread. Another thing I do is mix the sweetener, called for in a recipe, with the warm liquid and yeast. I read somewhere that the sugar helps the yeast activate.
The tips or steps above are once I like to use no matter if the recipe calls for mixing the yeast with the dry ingredients or not. But be warned that this is what has worked for me and may or may not work for you. You’ll only find out what works best for you by experimenting and tweaking your skills.
Easy Olive Oil Bread
2 cups or 240 grams bread flour or all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cups (175 ml) warm water
1 small packet of instant yeast = 1 tbsp
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, good quality
extra flour for kneading
extra olive oil to brush bowl and bread
1. In a small bowl combine honey, water, and yeast, stir to combine a bit. Put aside to proof yeast for about 5 minutes, or until yeast begins to foam. In a separate bowl combine the flour and salt. Once the yeast has foamed you can proceed to step 2.
2. Make a well in the center of flour bowl. Pour the olive oil, then the water-yeast mixture into the center of flour bowl. Using a wooden spoon stir until a wet dough forms, then switch to your hands for kneading. Depending on how wet the dough is, and the humidity in your kitchen, you will need to add a little bit of flour at a time to form an elastic dough that does not stick to your hands. Continue kneading until a smooth dough is formed, about 10 minutes.
3. Remove the dough and set aside, brush or rub a little bit of olive oil inside the bowl. Place the dough back into the bowl, brush with a little oil, cover and leave to rise in a warm place. Leave to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in sizes.
Once doubled, preheat oven to 375f or 190c and prepare a baking sheet or bread mould. Remove the risen dough from the bowl, gently knead into desired shape or place inside bread mould.
Leave to rise another 10 minutes. Place bread in center of oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.
The bread will feel crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. It is perfect as a side to pasta night, as a sandwich bread, or to simply enjoy with your favorite spread alongside some coffee or tea.
Thank you everyone for reading and I hope you give the bread a try. Anuradha thank you for the invitation and I’m really looking forward to following your new Bread 101 series. Happy baking everyone!
- 2 cups or 240 grams bread flour or all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp honey
- ¾ cups (175 ml) warm water
- 1 small packet of instant yeast = 1 tbsp
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, good quality
- extra flour for kneading
- extra olive oil to brush bowl and bread
- In a small bowl combine honey, water, and yeast, stir to combine a bit. Put aside to proof yeast for about 5 minutes, or until yeast begins to foam. In a separate bowl combine the flour and salt. Once the yeast has foamed you can proceed to step 2.
- Make a well in the center of flour bowl. Pour the olive oil, then the water-yeast mixture into the center of flour bowl. Using a wooden spoon stir until a wet dough forms, then switch to your hands for kneading. Depending on how wet the dough is, and the humidity in your kitchen, you will need to add a little bit of flour at a time to form an elastic dough that does not stick to your hands. Continue kneading until a smooth dough is formed, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the dough and set aside, brush or rub a little bit of olive oil inside the bowl. Place the dough back into the bowl, brush with a little oil, cover and leave to rise in a warm place. Leave to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in sizes.
- Once doubled, preheat oven to 375f or 190c and prepare a baking sheet or bread mould. Remove the risen dough from the bowl, gently knead into desired shape or place inside bread mould.
- Leave to rise another 10 minutes. Place bread in center of oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.
Thank you, Nancy. Your simple step-by-step process has totally given me the nudge I need to try this one out. I think I’m going to try a simple rosemary olive oil bread.
55 Responses to Bread 101: Olive Oil Bread
Honey, Olive oil and a gorgeous loaf..life is good! Wonderful guest post, admire pictures from Spicie Foodie always.
Yay for Nancy this is a fantastic guest post! I adore the beautiful photos and stunning tips and recipe :D
Choc Chip Uru
This is another tasty reminder of why I bought such a huge bottle of olive oil last time at the grocery. Hard to think of something it does not go well with! The loaf looks stunning and the blend of honey with the olive oil is really right on the mark. Awesome guest post by Nancy! You two have a wonderful weekend!
Nancy is one inspiring lady. Her photos are always so stunning. You’ve got to love bread and this one looks perfect.
I totally agree, Suzi!
oh this seems quite doable.. have tried a few bread recipes recently.. so am feeling quite adventurous!! am bookmarking this one!!!
A great guest post and fabulous bread! I love Nancy’s blog.
I love Nancy and I agree wholeheartedly she is an awesome photographer and her photography tutorials have taught me so much!! This olive bread looks like something I think I could almost do…. you know I’m afraid of dough right? Okay… I’m going to take the leap and try it. :) Have a wonderful weekend! ~ Ramona
I LOOOOOVE this!!! I’ve been dying to make some olive oil bread forever!
I love bread! Nothing beats homemade bread! This recipe seems easy enough and pretty quick. I think I could squeeze this recipe in before I start dinner. This is just perfect!! I love all the Bread 101 posts! I have saved them all!
Oh, goodness. This looks soo good! I can’t wait to try it out.
I saved this recipe, I love this kind of bread, with olive oil…perfect to eat with pasta.
Love love love everything about this. Photos are gorgeous too!
My photos want to look like those photos when they grow up!!
I started baking bread this year and really enjoy the process. This looks so delicious and I can’t wait to try it!
lovely; the loaf just looks wow;nice guest post nancy
Lovely bread! Simple and tasty, good for a beginning baker or anyone, and can be varied by adding in herbs, nuts or olives. One note: you do not need to proof instant yeast, and I suggest using only 2 tsp of yeast at the most. One tablespoon on yeast to two cups flour will make your bread explode. I skipped the first step, blended the salt with the flour and added the olive oil, water, yeast and honey. I also increased the salt to 2 teaspoons.
Inviting Nancy for a guest post was a great idea – she is an amazing food blogger! Just look at those shots! Such gorgeous loaf! And it must be delicious too with a touch of olive oil.
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Just put this loaf into the oven!!! (Oh btw, I added some chopped olives to the dough and hoping it turns out GREAT!) It smells heavenly! :)
Nancy is an amazing food photographer and her work is truly admirable. Thank you for having her as your guest today.
~ ray ~
i follow nancy’s blog too and i can’t get over her unique recipes and stunning photography. this bread looks perfect… soft and moist with a slightly crispy top!
Nancy, your olive oil bread looks delicious. One suggestion if you don’t mind, next when you are using instant yeast you don’t need to proof it. you can directly mix it with flour. Looks really nice crumb and crust. I love bread baking.
The bread just looks lovely.
This sound exactly like the dough I make when making pizza. It never occurred to me to make a loaf out of it but now I think I will try. Such an easy recipe and it tastes fantastic.
Thanks for inspiring me to try this as a whole loaf.
This looks wonderfully simple. I remember the first time I made a successful bread, I was so chuffed. It’s quite a feeling! :D
What a gorgeous bread for a guest post! It looks so good.
There’s not much better than a good olive bread and this one definitely looks like a keeper! Your photographs are absolutely beautiful!
Have waltzed over from ‘Spicie Foodie’ too and am so glad I did! This looks positively easy, even for a virtual non-baker like me :) !
Such a great guest post!! I love this bread!! So yummy!
Ooh, this looks delicious! And, I just received flavored olive oil as a gift, so I’m excited to try this recipe!
I haven’t made olive oil bread before. This one look quite hearty. I bet the olive oil makes it more moist.
What a gorgeous post! I only started to make bread a few years ago and it seemed so daunting. I would have loved to have read this when I started. Great post.
Such beautiful bread, Nancy! And I just know it tastes as good as it looks! An, thanks for the wonderful guest post…bread doesn’t intimidate me so much anymore, but I always love to read tips from a successful baker :)
What a great guest post ladies! This bread looks scrumptious and I adore olives! Great tips, Nancy, for working with yeast. And your photography is just spectacular! : )
Thank you everyone for all the sweet comments. I’m so touched by your words and you’ve made me blush:)
A big thanks to you Anuradha for the invitation, it’s been a pleasure.
I love your bread series Anu, it is really wonderful! This bread sounds Delish! Hugs, Terra
Yum. And I also want the recipe for whatever you slathered on top in that first pic!
There is nothing better than homemade bread. This loaf looks simple and fantastic!
What a gorgeous looking loaf!! Nothing beats homemade bread. Not only does it taste better than store bought, I love the smell of it baking.
Tremendous pictures! And a really nice and easy recipe. Just an excellent post – thanks.
Thanks Anu for inviting Nancy! Nancy, what a gorge olive oil bread! This is a great or sandwich bread or side for the dinner. When this comes out of the oven, it must have been heavenly!! ;-)
I can’t stop admiring this olive oil bread and my other half loves any kind of bread. Both of you are so good in baking. I will just leave as it is in admiring because baking is too much for me. I rather stick to my savory dishes and be good in taste.
Homemade bread makes me incredibly happy. This is beautiful!
A delicious looking bread, thanks for sharing Nancy.
This looks so wonderful! I love this series, as you know :-) Can’t wait to try this one.
I’m so excited to try this recipe this week… It looks so good!
tried the recipe today and the loaf was fabulous; thx again nancy for sharing !
Great! So nice to know it turned out well for you! :)
What a simply gorgeous bread…love the olive oil!
Fantastic post Nancy, and great guest post/feature here :)
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This bread was a hit! I was even out of honey so I used…Pancake syrup!!! Before baking I sprinkled salt and garlic powder on top. I just mixed the syrup in the warm water till blended ,added yeast and blended it all together ,and let it proof then added to flour mix. Bread was tasty!
Wow! That does sound wonderful. So glad it turned out well for you. :)
I tried this recipe tonight and it was a hit with the family. Left out the honey (didn’t have any) and reduced the yeast to 1 tsp. The bread rose nicely in an hour (placed it near the heater) and it baked beautifully. Fantastic texture and taste. It was also my first time baking bread – very happy!! Thanks for this fabulous recipe :) :)
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