Black Olive Rosemary

 

Groves of Olive Trees near Tel Aviv, Israel, 2009

 

Food brings back nostalgic thoughts for all of us, returning often to favorite recipes as a way to relive good times gone by.  When living in Jerusalem, a very beautiful friend made delicious bread for me one time. She made it look so easy, whipping everything together without the aid of a recipe and done only by memory. The smell of it baking will make you salivate, but just wait til you taste it…..      This was in 2009, and it is the only bread I make to this day, and never ever have I seen someone try it and stop at only one piece. It is easy to make, but plan ahead, because it can take a few hours to rise (something that has had me serving dinner to my guests late more than once). My recipe is written in an old notebook that has its fair share of ingredient smudges all over Einav’s Black Olive and Rosemary Bread. Still warm, dipped in  olive oil, sprinkled with a little bit of sea salt, and washed down with a glass of white wine is a good start to a nice meal with friends.

 

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The flavors are typical to the Mediterranean diet, pepper, garlic, rosemary and olive oil.  In an effort to share it the same way I received it, I have written it exactly as it was told to me that first night I tried it.  Enjoy. – JamesEinavBread

 

Einav’s Bread– Jerusalem, Israel, 2009

-1-2 teaspoons of yeast (warm water/bit of sugar)

-1 ½ cups of milk (maybe a little less), warm but don’t boil

-In a bowl, mix: – ¼ of a cup of olive oil

-2 tablespoons of sugar

– ½ or 1 tablespoon of salt

– black pepper

(add any spices you would like at this time, Zatar, thyme, etc.)

-Mix warm milk in to the bowl and stir

-Cut up one clove of garlic and add to bowl

-Let yeast mixture rise and once grown add to mixture

-Add 2 cups of flour

-Mix flour and yeast together little by little to get the right consistency

* This is when you add your olives and rosemary (or anything else like nuts, etc.)

-Mix dough in bowl with hands while adding more flour if necessary as you go

-Transfer to a large clean bowl and let sit for one hour (to rise)

-After 1 hour and risen, punch the dough and knead a bit

-Let rise 1 more hour

-Do this 3x

-Arrange on try, let sit one hour (this is the 3rd time)

-Put on toppings (extra rosemary, etc.)

-Preheat oven to 150-170 degrees and cook for 15 minutes

(lower heat= better baked)

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