Jun 272007
Olive-rosemary quick bread

Olive-rosemary quick bread

Ever since I first tried my hand at olive-rosemary bread for an Easter feast this year, I’ve been a big fan. The olive and rosemary complement each other extremely well and have a warm, not-too-olivey flavor.

Yesterday I was craving this bread something fierce. The problem? Well, I was sick and was really not liking the idea of mixing, kneading, fermenting, shaping, proofing, and baking two whole loaves. Incidentally, the six hours it would take to get the bread in my belly wasn’t really working either considering I was craving it then. Quick breads came to mind, but I didn’t know any savory recipes besides cornbread (and my blueberry buttermilk pancakes had exhausted my supply of cornmeal) and as much as I love a good whole-wheat pumpkin spice loaf, I just wasn’t wanting a sweet bread (or a sweetbread, for that matter).

So, of course, I turned to my favorite cooking friend, The Joy of Cooking. I flipped through their quickbreads section, considering zucchini bread (but was foiled by a lack of the namesake ingredient), coffee cakes (but then remembered that I didn’t want something sweet), and muffins (ditto), before my eyes rested upon a Mediterranean olive loaf recipe. Ye gods, had I just found a quick version of the very bread I was craving? Indeed I had! I immediately went into the kitchen and ten minutes later my loaf was in the oven.

The bread came out wonderfully moist with a very crumbly texture, and as my venerable printed friend suggested, the bread was excellent with some goat cheese. Move over, chicken noodle soup – that’s some good comfort food.

Olive-rosemary quick bread

Olive Rosemary Quick Bread
From The Joy of Cooking (1997 edition)
Makes one loaf, 10 slices

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or bread flour or white whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary or leaves from a 6-8 inch fresh sprig, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pitted imported olives, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Grease a 6-cup loaf pan (about 8×4 inches).
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, rosemary, and salt.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and olive oil.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and fold together until the dry ingredients are about 3/4 moistened.
Add the olives. Fold until the pieces are distributed and dry ingredients are well incorporated and moistened.
Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Let cook in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes before unmolding from pan to cool completely on a rack.

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