Friday, January 10, 2014

Herbed Tomato and Olive Loaf

My friends at 37 Cooks are at it again, this time sending me a selection of herbs and spices to play with, thanks to The Spice House.

Well, I showed them! I went into the kitchen and baked a loaf of bread! Ha! Bread!

One of the spices I chose was pizza sauce seasoning. If you don't have your own favorite spice mix you use for pizza sauce, give this a try. It makes tomato sauce taste a lot like the pizza sauce I was so familiar with in Chicago.

But it's not just for pizza. Oh no. You could, for example, put some tomatoes and cheese on an English muffin, then sprinkle this on. Mmmm. English muffin pizza!

Seriously, though, this blend works well for bread recipes, like this one, or mixed with cream cheese for a spread, or tossed with vegetables. Mostly, though, I use it for pizza-like recipes.

And then I also add other stuff. You'll see.

Herbed Tomato and Olive Loaf

1 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon pizza sauce seasoning
1 teaspoon tomato powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon thyme
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups (9 ounces) bread flour
1/2 cup (3 ounces) semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped black olives
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the water, yeast, pizza sauce seasoning, tomato powder, lemon thyme, sugar, bread flour, semolina flour, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is elastic.

Add the chopped black olives and olive oil and continue kneading until the olives an oil are completely incorporated. At first, the dough will sort of slop around in the bowl, but then it will start combining.

When the olives and oil are incorporated, cover the bowl and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the dough has doubled, flour your work surface lightly and turn out the dough. Gently de-gas the dough and form the dough into a tight ball and seal the bottom of the ball.

Set the dough, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough is doubled in size and an indent remains when dough is touched lightly with a fingertip.

When the dough has doubled, slash the top of the dough as desired - and X or crosshatch work well. Bake at 350 degrees until the bread is nicely brown and sound hollow when tapped - about 35 minutes.

Let the bread cool completely on a rack before slicing.