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Olive Tapenade Bread

About seven years ago, I was living in a little town in Tanzania called Arusha, working for a wine merchant. It was a fabulous job. I got to drink loads of good wine and meet some fabulous people.......and try olive swirl bread.


I was with my boss at a special wine tasting for a customer who was opening up a restaurant and one of the guests at the tasting came with baked goodies. Now, I'm usually not a huge fan of bread but this lady convinced me to try the olive bread. I loved it. Soft, fluffy, salty, olivey (is there such a word?) I soon came to discover she has a quaint little tea shop so I made it a point to pass by every week for a loaf or two of her swirl bread. Unfortunately, I had a terrible gas oven so even the thought of attempting to bake bread had me running scared.


Fast forward two years later and I got my hands on my mum's amazing cooker and all I could think of was olive swirl bread. Ingredients? CHECK Oven? CHECK So I delved elbow deep into dough (ok I'm exaggerating here) to try and recreate that lovely bread. More recently, I got that itch for the bread again and decided to make it at home.


This bread is perfect for having with soups like tomato soups and mushroom soup. I feel like the addition of the bread make it more fun to have soup.


Makes 1 loaf For the Bread:

  • 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, and extra for dusting

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast

  • 1 tsp sugar

For the Tapenade:

  • 1 cup of pitted black and green olives

  • 2 tbs capers

  • 3 anchovy fillets

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • Pepper to taste

  • 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped


Start by making the bread dough.


In a large bowl, mix together the warm water, salt, sugar and yeast and set aside for 5 minutes until the mixture is frothy. Add the flour gradually to the bowl and gently mix using a wooden spoon. When all the flour is in, knead into a wet sticky dough. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside to rise for about 2 hours.


While the dough is proofing,  prepare the tapenade.

Heat up a pan and add your olive oil, olives, garlic, capers and anchovies and cook for about 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool down before putting it into a blender to make a coarse paste.


After about 2 hours, take your dough an knead it gently. Flour your surface and roll out your dough into a rectangle about 10 inches by 13 inches.


At this point, pre - heat your oven to 180°C (160°C for a fan assisted oven)


Take your tapenade mixture and spread evenly all over the dough.


Gently roll the dough along the long end then finish by making sure the seam is on the bottom of the roll. Trim off or tuck on the edges of the loaf then place the dough seam side down in a loaf tin and cover with a damp cloth for another 10 minutes.


Put your bread in the pre - heated oven and let this bake for 45 minutes. Once ready, place on a cooling rack and enjoy the delicious bread on its own or with your favourite soup.

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