There aren’t that many olive lovers here. To date, I only know 4- me, my 2 kids and DH. And so far, I have only fed them black and green olives. Haven’t bought them the fancy ones yet. They are still quite happy with the cheapo black bottled olives. So am I.
We love them as tapenade, with pasta, pizza, focaccia, fried rice… Every way is a favorite way to eat olives. I buy the biggest bottle (of coz!) from Mustafa and I use them really liberally.
My focaccia recipe is an easy no-knead version. It’s fool-proof. What can go wrong? Only if you leave it to proof for hours and hours, with the misconception that the longer the better. And if you bake it for too long in the oven.
No-knead Focaccia Bread
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1-2 tsp instant yeast
1 cup plain flour
2 cups bread flour
2 tbsp #extra virgin olive oil (evoo) (to go into the dough)
extra evoo for drizzling and greasing
Put everything together in a large bowl. Stir till everything comes together to form a dough. If it is too tacky, add in a little extra flour. It’s ok if it’s a little sticky coz you will be oiling it later. Leave it to rise for about an hour. It is ready when it has roughly doubled its size.
On a large cookie sheet, generously coat the bottom of the pan with evoo. Punch the risen dough down. Pour the whole dough onto the pan and flatten it on the oiled sheet with your hands. Drizzle more evoo on top of the dough. Then stud the whole thing with olives. Press down the olives into the dough. Fresh herbs are optional. If you like basil, you may press the basil leaves into the dough as well. Proof it again for about 1/2 hour or until it looks puffed up. Bake in a *cold oven set at 180c for about 20 min or until golden brown.
Eat it as it is or stuffed with ham and cheese.
#it is important to use evoo for good flavor. I once used regular oil and the difference in flavor is vast
*baking in a cold oven helps simplify things. Pop it in, turn on oven and walk away. It doesn’t harm the bread dough. Please do note that this doesn’t work for cakes.