Herb Bread with Sundried Tomatoes & Calamata Olives

I started experimenting with breadmaking when I lived in another city. I didn't have too many new friends thus had time on my hands so I tried breadmaking for the first time. In this last year though, I haven't made any bread so I felt it was time that I did. And am I really glad I did. I love this bread. Not just loved it, but couldn't-stop-slicing-more-and-eating-it-nonstop loved it.

This recipe was from my KitchenAid mixer instruction book. It was originally Herb Garlic Baguettes but I modified it to make a loaf full of sundried tomatoes and calamata olives. (I recently bought a big bag of olives and was getting tired of stuffing myself with olives thus I came up with adding it to this bread).

The sundried tomato was a perfect blend to the herbs and garlic in this bread. The calamata olives added a bit of saltiness but I found that it didn't give as much of an olive taste as I expected. But, the color and texture it adds, alongside the tasty sundried tomato, is a wonderful medley in my mouth. I highly recommend adding sundried tomato to any bread, it's so good.

Best part about making your own bread? Smothering it with butter when it's warm, right out of the oven and savoring every last bite. hmmm...


Herb Bread with Sundried Tomatoes & Calamata Olives
yield 36 servings (18 slices/loaf)

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water

3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp fresh chopped basil or 1 tsp dry basil
2 tsps fresh chopped oregano or 1/2 tsp dry oregano
2 tsp fresh chopped thyme or 1/2 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatos
1/2 cup chopped calamata olives

3/4 cup cold water

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.

Place 3-1/4 cups flour, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt, sundried tomatos & calamata olives in bowl. Attach spiral dough hook and mix 30 seconds on speed 2. Stop & scrape bowl.

Continue on speed 2 and slowly add yest mixture & cold water, mixing for 30 seconds. If dough is still sticky, add remaining 1/4 cup flour. Knead on speed 2 for 3 minutes.

Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place for 1.5 to 2 hours (or until doubled in size).

Punch down dough to remove all air bubbles. Shape dough into long loaf and place onto greased baking sheet or loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 to 1.5 hours.

Bake at 450F for 15 to 18 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

adapted recipe: Herb Garlic Baguettes, KitchenAid Instruction & Recipe book