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FENNEL SEED AND BLACK OLIVE BREAD

 

Ingredients for 2 loaves:

 

Sponge:

1 cup water (80 degrees)

1 teaspoon dry active yeast

1 cup bread flour

Dough:

1 cup water at 80 degrees

1 teaspoon dry active yeast

2 cups bread flour

1 cup semolina flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, bruised

1-1/2 cups pitted, coarsely chopped kalamata olives (8 oz. jar)

zest from 2 oranges

 

Directions:

 

Sponge: Dissolve the yeast in the water in a bowl for 2 minutes.  Stir in the bread flour.  Cover and let stand in a warm (80 degrees) spot for 14-16 hours.

 

Dough: Dissolve the yeast in water for 2 minutes.  Add the sponge, and gradually work in the bread flour, semolina flour, salt and pepper.  Let dough stand for 5 minutes.  Knead by hand or in the workbowl of a mixer until smooth and resilient.

 

Work in the fennel seeds, olives and orange zest adding a bit more flour as needed to keep the dough firm.  Knead until dough returns to previous tautness.  Remove from the bowl and slam the dough down on the counter 3-4 times to tighten it further.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a protected 80 degrees spot until doubled, 1-1/2 hours.

 

Remove dough from the bowl, divide, shape and continue through final rise and baking as directed in the two previous bread recipes.  Baking time may be as long as 15 minutes