Monday, March 14, 2011

Herb Bread with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Alton Brown, an American culinary star, is quite a character. I used to watch his food show when I had cable... then I found his book I’m Just Here for more Food in my library and his writing impressed me a lot. I think this is the first cookbook without any food picture at all, but still so interesting and helpful. Fortunately, Alton kept his humor, and made complicated baking processes so simple to read and understand. Some of his comments are just hilarious.

So, I used the first available opportunity to make some of the recipes from his book. I chose to make his Herb Loaf. This is easy and fast made bread without leavening. Plus, it has a lot of herbs and whole wheat. But, I couldn’t resist to add a twist and  I put black olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Also, instead of making loaf, you can make muffins if you prefer as this is actually muffin batter.

You need:

The dry ingredients
  • 2 cups (270g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (284) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbs. baking powder
  • 2 tbs. salt
  • 2 Tbs. fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme
  • 2 tbs. (12g) freshly ground black pepper
The wet ingredients
  • 56g sugar  (I would halved the amount, I do not like sweet taste in the bread)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ¼ buttermilk
  • 4 Tbs. black olives, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  1. Put sun dried-tomatoes in the cup of olive oil (if they are dry). Leave them for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. (175C)
  3. Prepare a loaf pan – place the baking sheet on the bottom.
  4. Add the wet goods to the dry goods and DO NOT OVERMIX. As Alton said ...” this is the password to your success – is it clear as a long-distance phone call from Ozzy Osbourne.” LOL!
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. In my oven it took 55 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove to rack to cool down.
*If you want to make muffins, do everything the same, but bake for 35 minutes in oil sprayed muffin pan.

You can serve this bread with butter or cream cheese. This is a good idea for appetizer including red wine too.


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