1 1/4cuppitted, sliced olivesSliced brined olives such as an Italian olive mix, and/or Kalamata olives.
Add 2 cups lukewarm water to a large mixing bowl.
Add the yeast packet, or 2¼ tsp of yeast, and stir well.
Add 1 cup flour and the salt and stir well.
Add the garlic powder and sliced olives and stir. (Save a few pretty slices to garnish the top before baking) Feel free to add some herbs, like a tbsp of fresh oregano or chopped rosemary.
Add another cup of flour and stir.
One at a time, add the remaining two cups of flour, stirring well between each addition.
Cover with plastic wrap and place a tea towel over it. Place it somewhere warm to rest and rise for 1 hour.
After the dough has rested an hour, oil the bottom and sides of a 10” cast iron skillet with 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
Pour the dough into the skillet using your fingers to pull it out of the bottom of the bowl. It will be sticky!
Lightly oil your fingers and press the dough around gently to even it out.
Preheat your oven to 425° F.
Cover skillet loosely with plastic wrap. Let it proof (or rise) for an additional 30 minutes. I spread some olive oil on the wrap to keep it from sticking to the top of the dough.
Sprinkle the top with the herbs, and add some pretty olive slices if you want to make it pretty! (A drizzle of olive oil and some flaky sea salt sprinkled on the top looks lovely too!)
Bake for 30 minutes and check to see if it's golden brown on top. If not, give it a few more minutes until it's golden brown.
Remove skillet from the oven and place on a large, heavy rack or trivet to cool down enough to remove from the pan.
After several minutes, place a large plate over the top of the bread. Using potholders, place one hand on top of the plate, and use the other hand to flip it upside down so it's upside down on top of the plate. Now place a cookie rack on top of the bread and flip it upside down again and remove the plate.
Allow it to cool for at least half an hour. Try and give it time to cool to room temperature before cutting into it. If you cut into it too soon, the steam will release and you will end up with a dry loaf, and it'll be gummy when you try and cut it.
I've supplemented with plain black olives. As long as you have some salty olives, the bread will turn out fabulous!
When I first made this bread, I wasn't sure how much flour to use, so I used about 3¼ cups. It was very, very moist! I increased it to 4 cups of flour for a less fragile, slightly higher loaf.
I like to slice a large round of bread like this by cutting it in half once. Then cut the half into shorter slices.
I took it to dinner at my Sisters-in-law and it served 8 easily with plenty of leftovers!
This makes amazing sandwiches if it makes it to leftovers.
I found this recipe on Food in Books blog and adapted it slightly. Food In Books Venessa blogs about, well, you guessed it, food in books, and posts the best book reviews along with beautiful photos as she cooks dishes inspired by her reading.