Sunday, February 28, 2016

Lovely Hippy Bread

Bread making is another of my passions. I get in a groove when I make bread, it's like meditation, some of my best thoughts are thunk while making bread. I learned bread making from my step-father's mother when I was about 10-years-old, as she made her own bread every Saturday morning to last the week. I was usually there on those mornings, with my flour covered hands, too-long apron, and the kinetic energy required for proper dough kneading. I perfected my no-recipe breads in my mid-20's and have been making variation after variation ever since, including this delicious and wild recipe. It sounds a little crazy, and to some, downright disgusting, but I assure you, if you love patchouli, as I know those who do, um, do, then you'll adore this bread. 

Patchouli Bread with Kalamata Olive and Feta Cheese

5-6 c flour (if using whole wheat flour, use 1/2 c less)

2 cups warm water

4 tblsp extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

2 tblsp active dry yeast

6 ounces drained and pitted kalamata olives

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

1 tblsp sugar or honey

1 tsp powdered patchouli leaf and 1 drop patchouli essential oil, blended

1 tsp salt

Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Dissolve yeast and sugar or honey in the warm water (keep the water temperature around 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit). Once the yeast bubbles up and becomes foamy, add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then pour the warm water/yeast/sugar/oil mixture into a large mixing bowl, add two cups of flour and mix well. Add more flour until the dough is soft but no longer sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl and begin kneading the dough on a floured surface, adding more and more flour as the kneading continues, until the dough is firm and pliable. Form the dough into a ball. Allow it to rest while you was the mixing bowl. Thoroughly dry the bowl and oil it with a tablespoon of evoo. Roll the dough in the bowl until it is cover in oil and let it rest in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a warm wet dish towel and place the bowl in a warm place to allow it to rise, about  double in size, for around an hour. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down. Flour your kneading surface well, remove the dough from the bowl and begin kneading again until pliable, and what air bubbles you may feel in the dough are popped out. Knead for about 15 minutes. This doesn't have to be a strain, gently kneading and rolling the dough is perfect -- pounding the life out of it isn't necessary. Once the dough is smooth and pliable and a little stretchy, roll the dough out as if you were making pizza, using a rolling pin until the dough is about half an inch thick. In a small bowl add the final tablespoon of evoo and the teaspoon of powdered patchouli leaf-drop of oil mixture and blend well. Spread the olive/patchouli mixture over the surface of the rolled out dough, cover as much of the dough's surface as you can, as if you were putting sauce on a pizza. Add the drained and pitted kalamata olives to the surface of the dough, distributing evenly (you may even coarsely chop the olives if you prefer), then top with the feta cheese, spreading evenly. Fold the right and left side of the dough inward about 1 inch so the filling doesn't topple out of the dough when you begin rolling it pinwheel fashion. once the dough is rolled up, place it on a lightly oiled sheet pan seam side down and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Allow the loaf to cool 20 minutes before cutting. Use a serrated bread knife. Serve with tomato soup, pasta, or on its own.

(Originally published in 'A Perfumer's Cookbook' written by me) 

If you make this, let me know how it turned out, and if you liked it. I created this recipe during a Mediterranean food phase, and that might not be your cup of tea. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds fantastic!! I am So making this! I will let you know!!!



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