There are certain truths to be told, admissions if you will.
I don’t wash clothes or dry them, pick up dust-bunnies and other this and thats on the floor or carpet. I don’t beat the heck out of eggs whites to create meringues or when I’m “baking”, I don’t mix my own batters. Like this bread…I don’t know that is a fair statement to say I “made bread.”
Hold on now! Before you click away and write me off as a person doing “something close to nothing” (great Prince line from Raspberry Beret), let me clarify.
I do laundry with the help of a work horse washer and dryer, vacuum with a trusty Dyson, beat the heck outta egg whites with either a hand held or stand mixer and I did bake this bread with a R2-D2 like bread machine. Every so often (more often than not), I am in wonder of how automated our lives are and I’m ever so grateful for my parents and grandparents and how much easier these chores are today than in their day.
Today I pulled out my neglected breadmaker that’s been all but forgotten during the year (maybe two). I felt like I was cheating my copy of The Baker’s Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart, I have sitting in a bookcase. I thumbed through an old Fleischmann cookbook and was eager to crank up the machine. After measuring and layering all the ingredients in breadmaker machine fashion, I turned it on and about jumped out of my socks! I forgot the noises it makes. The newer addition to our family (Cody the Corgi), started barking and growling from outside as the machine thrashed and thumped.
Our first bread machine was a generous gift from my mother-in-law. I was beside myself…loved that bread machine – it was the Easy-Bake oven I always wanted as a kid, but never had. Many years later, and after much use, the machine was upgraded to a 2-pounder loaf capacity. After making bread today and enjoying the aroma of bread baking whilst I go about doing other things, I’ve made room on the counter for it again.
I served this bread with pasta and a small dish of olive oil on the side for dipping. Great texture and appreciated the saltiness of using Kalamata Olives instead of regular black olives. Considering 3 ounces of feta cheese was used, I could smell it, but couldn’t taste it like I thought I would. It smells amazing when baking and it’s something I’ll definitely be making many times again.
- The recipe calls for 1/4 cup olives. I increased it to 1/2 cup. Next time I would add even more, maybe 3/4 cup.
- Instead of using plain black olives, make it more interesting by using Kalamata Olives that’s been packed in vinegar brine and olive oil. Drain the liquid it was packed in and rinse off the measured portion. Pat dry to absorb the water and then chop up for the bread.
- Regular Active Yeast works fine in breadmakers. From my past experiences, you don’t need to have special “bread maker” yeast.
- This would make a fantastic sandwich bread! Update 9/16/2010: I used this bread to make oven toasted grilled cheese sandwiches with heirloom tomatoes and avocado… good stuff!
- At the end of the directions, I’m including additional notes about bread maker dough consistency.
- Ivy from Kopiaste..to Greek Hospitality suggested adding rosemary to the bread. I love this idea! Will definitely do that when I make it again. Thanks Ivy! 🙂
Makes a 1 1/2 -Pound Loaf
3/4 cup (3 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, drained, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons active yeast
Add ingredients to bread machine in order suggested by the manufacturer. Add the cheese and olives with the flour. The feta cheese may vary in moisture content. Adjust dough consistency if dough is too dry, stiff, or soft.
Recommended cycle: Basic/white bread cycle; medium/normal color settings.
Store bread in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.
Notes about bread machine dough consistency:
- Bread machine dough is a little more stickier than hand kneaded dough.
- After the dough has been mixing in the machine a couple of minutes, the dough should start to look smooth and gather around the mixing blade.
- If the dough looks dry or stiff: add more liquid in 1-teaspoon increments until it’s the right consistency.
- If the dough looks too soft: add more bread flour in 1-teaspoon increments until it’s the right consistency.
- Do not add more than 3 to 4 tablespoons of liquid OR flour.