KALAMATA OLIVE BREAD – Pretty As A Picture!

olive-bread1-textCompany was coming and I needed a bread – fast! I flipped through my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook and found this Kalamata Olive Bread recipe made in a cast iron skillet. (To those under 35, cookbooks are how people used to get recipes!)

I’m always looking for ways to use my cast iron skillet, so I tried it. The results? It was fast, it was beautiful, and, best of all, it was delicious.

NOTE: A cast iron skillet is imperative to producing the crisp top, side, and bottom.

IDEA FOR NEXT TIME:  Include crumbled Feta cheese in the dough.

KALAMATA OLIVE BREAD

  • 5 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 12.5 oz (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4.5 oz (1½ cup), divided, Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or yogurt – I’ve used both)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 450º Fahrenheit.

In a 10″ cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium/high. Add in the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant. You want to flavor the oil but not burn the garlic. Remove pan from heat and let cool down while preparing the rest of the recipe.

In medium bowl, mix together the flour, basil, baking powder, salt, and 3.5 oz (1 cup) Parmesan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg to break it up. Whisk in the milk and sour cream.

Remove garlic from skillet and mince (I use a garlic press). Add the garlic to the egg mixture. Stir in all but 1 T olive oil. Pour in the dry ingredients and blend until nearly all the flour is incorporated. Add in the Kalamata olives and gently finish blending. DON’T OVERMIX OR THE BREAD WILL BE TOUGH.

Heat remaining 1 T oil in skillet. Turn off heat but leave pan on burner. Pour in batter (it will be thick), smoothing top. Sprinkle on remaining 1 oz (1/2 cup) Parmesan.

Bake at 450º F for 20 minutes, until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes in skillet. Remove to wire rack. I like to serve it as soon as it’s cool enough to eat.

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