Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today's Dough: Olive Spelt Loaves

The finished product.
Spelt-Whole Wheat Olive Bread
(makes 2 generous boules)

2 tbsp. agave nectar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp. salt
1 cup bread flour
2 cups spelt flour
3-5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

Combine agave nectar, yeast and water in a large bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes or until yeast foams.  Stir in the applesauce and salt.  Add the bread and spelt flours and then enough of the whole wheat flour to form a soft, sticky dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 15 minutes, sprinkling with flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking to hands.  Dough should be smooth, soft and still slightly sticky to the touch.

First rise; no olives.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Punch down dough and then fold and knead in the olives.  This is a little tricky, but keep at it until the olives are incorporated into the dough. You may need to add a bit of flour from time to time as the olives have some moisture.  Put the dough back in the oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for another hour.

Second rise; with olives.

Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray lightly with oil) and preheat the oven to 400F.  After the dough has completed the second rise, turn it onto a floured surface, divide in two and shape into round loaves.  Place on prepared sheets and cover with a kitchen towel.  Let rise 30 more minutes.  Right before I put the loaves in the oven, I slash the tops with an X using a big serrated bread knife that I've dipped in water.  Use a firm hand, but don't put too much pressure down on the loaves as that will de-gas them.

Bake loaves for 45-50 minutes or until brown on the outside.  Thumping the bottom of the loaves should produce a hollow sound.  Cool on a wire rack.

(I clipped this recipe out of an issue of Vegetarian Times, halved the amount of salt, swapped the honey for agave nectar and substituted applesauce for olive oil - and since I didn't have 8 cups of spelt flour I used a bit of bread flour for texture - and made up the remainder with whole wheat flour.)


  1. You certainly vary the loaf diet! Have always made bread since becoming a married lady, and have made lots of different versions - but they've always tended to be variations on a theme of white, brown and French flours!

    It's a pity I don't have a husband with too much of an adventurous palate. He appreciates variety, but his intolerances don't allow too much creativity!

  2. Oh wow, this looks so nice! Mum was saying the other day we haven't made bread in ages, she'd love this! I'm going to give it a go!


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