November 22, 2017
Blue Ribbon Fresh Herb Olive Nut Bread
Washington State Fair Winner
If you want a flavorful bread that wows people and is easy to make, bake this blue ribbon fresh herb olive nut bread.
From fresh garlic, shallots, and chives, to basil, dill weed, and oregano, this bread incorporates them all, and more. You can change up the herbs based on your favorites and what’s on hand. That makes this dough so versatile. Love dill? Use more of it. Or switch to rosemary if that’s what you’re craving.
Last year we had the opportunity to test, tweak and photograph a big batch of bread recipes for a client. This blue ribbon-winning Fresh Herb Olive Nut Bread was a stand out. In fact, we are still drooling over its flavors.
Slather it with some great butter on it and it’s a double wow! I brought the bread to a wine and cheese party and it was an absolute hit! The only bummer was no leftovers to have as toast in the morning.
The blue ribbon-winning bread won at the Seattle-Tacoma area Washington State Fair (in 2016). It is from blue ribbon baker Susan Erickson.
Susan shared that for most of her baking years, she has been known for her desserts. She only baked her first breads in 2014. Once she had the basics down though, she hooked! Those basics were knowing when the yeast was working (thumbs up if you see the foam) and handling the dough (flour helps and not over-kneading). Winning first place at the state fair was a big feather in her cap and a cherished experience. Like many, she
Susan shared this great baking tip: she buys only one 5 pound bag of flour at a time. “This way, I always have only the freshest flour on hand,” she noted, and added that it makes a subtle but big difference.
Try this blue ribbon fresh herb olive nut bread and you will have a winner on the table too!
Fresh Herb Olive Nut Bread
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees
2 tablespoonsolive oil
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh dill weed, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 generous tablespoons shallots, minced
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup coarsely chopped olives (green and Kalamata)
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
1 beaten egg, plus 1 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In large mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and warm water; stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside until frothy or bubbles form, about 5 minutes. Stir in olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, herbs, garlic, shallots, walnuts, and olives.
Mix in flour, one cup at a time (a dough hook in stand-up mixer works great for this). Continue to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic. Let dough rise in a warm place for an hour, or until it doubles in size.
Punch down; shape into a round or rectangle. Place in an oiled baking pan. Cover loosely with the same plastic wrap. Let the loaf rise another 30 minutes, or until it doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat egg and water; brush onto uncovered loaf. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake 25 minutes, or until browned and sounds hollow when tapped.
Recipe from the Blue Ribbon Group