Mediterranean Mini-Loaves with Kalamata Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Mediterranean Mini-Loaves with Kalamata Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I must confess that I miss my kitchen. I've been in the hospital for over a month at this time, and although I am getting better, I have a long way to go. I'm going to have to build up strength, which will take a while, and I don't foresee a return home for a while yet. But the harder I work at things, without overdoing it, then I hope to go home to my own bed, kitties and kitchen, even though it might take a while to really get back in the swing of things.

Mini-Loaves with Kalamata Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

On of the last things I made before going to the hospital were these little dinner-roll-size Mediterranean-inspired crusty loaves. Needless to say, they go well with a hot bowl of soup, but they are perfect on the side too as they are bursting with flavor because of the addition of fresh Kalamata olives, zesty sun-dried tomatoes and dried herbs. Slice and serve with some butter or just enjoy as is.

The dough is soft and a pleasure to work with, and while they are easy to make, they do take some time, though most of that is rising time, so mostly it's hands off except for kneading and shaping the dough.

Mediterranean Mini-Loaves with Kalamata Olives and Sun-Dried TomatoesMediterranean Mini-Loaves with Kalamata Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe by
Published on July 17, 2018

Warm, crusty mini bread loaves with a soft herbed interior filled with Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes

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Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 1 package (8 g) active dried yeast
  • 2 cups light spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 4 medium sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 30 to 40 minutes, drained and finely chopped
  • olive oil for brushing
Instructions:
  • Pour the warm water into a small bowl and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, but don't stir, and let sit for about 10 minutes until frothy.

  • Whisk together the flour, rosemary, oregano and salt in a large mixing bowl. When the yeast is frothy, stir the olive oil into the water and then gradually stir the oil and water into the flour mixture. Stir until everything is well incorporated and the dough is moist but not too sticky. Add a bit more water or flour if necessary.

  • Shape the dough into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and silky soft, adding a dusting of flour as needed, for about 5 minutes. Continue to knead the dough, sprinkling a few of the olive and sun-dried tomatoes over the dough at a time. Continue to knead, folding the dough from the top back towards you, until all of the olives and sun-dried tomatoes are evenly incorporated into the dough. The should take about 3 minutes.

  • Form the dough into a ball again and transfer to a medium or large bowl brushed with olive oil. Cover with a piece of waxed paper brushed with olive oil and a light damp cloth. Move to a warm place to rise, such as the top of a refrigerator or in the oven with only the inside light turned on. Let sit until the ball of dough rises to roughly twice in size, about 1 hour.

  • Now gently punch down the dough to deflate and transfer again to a work surface that is oiled lightly with olive oil. Oil a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a rectangle about 8 × 10 inches, making sure the shorter side is closest to you. If necessary, sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin or use a bit more olive oil on the rolling pin. Slice the dough in half lengthwise using a lightly oiled sharp knife and then divide each of the 8-inch long pieces into four 2-inch pieces, leaving you with 8 pieces.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with one piece of dough at a time, fold in the long sides and pinch the seams together to seal. Shape it gently to make it a loaf shape and place seam side down onto the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pieces of dough. With a knife, make 3 diagonal slashes on the top of each loaf, about 1-inch long. Once finished with all the pieces, cover the baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper brushed with olive oil and then with a light damp cloth. Leave in a warm place again to rise until the dough has again roughly doubled in size. This should take about 45 minutes.

  • Now let the prepared baking sheet sit on the countertop and preheat an oven to 450°. Remove the damp cloth and waxed paper from the top of the shaped dough. Because of the oiled waxed paper, the dough should be slightly oily on top, but brush a bit more olive oil over the dough if desired. Transfer the baking sheet to the middle rack of the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°. Bake until the loaves begin to turn golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove to a metal rack to cool completely and then store any remaining loaves in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Alternately, you can freeze the loaves in a well-sealed freezer bag.

Makes 8 mini-loaves

Italian Mini-Loaves with Olive and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Other breads to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Lemon Chia Seed Cornmeal Bread
JalapeƱo Spoon Bread
Rustic Sun-Dried Tomato Bread
Quick and Easy Pumpkin Molasses Chocolate Chip Bread - Vegan

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