It´s all in the details. Both in everyday life and in recipes. A little change in ingredients can deliver a completely different outcome.
This bread, called back-of-the-card cheese and olive bread, and the one cheddar scallion pecan bread seemed very similar in the book. They´re one after the other, and look pretty much the same when you read the list of ingredients. Olive oil, sharp cheese, eggs, flour, milk, one with scallions and pecans the other with olives and tapenade.
Yes, I´m here to tell you that it´s all in the details. So I decided to not only make the obvious changes like olives, da-ah look at the title, but also use some whole wheat flour and my sun dried tomato pesto instead of the tapenade the recipe calls for. Oh, and braised garlic infused oil.
That pesto is my favorite, and it was a good excuse to make it again. And also, I have a post ready to share with you soon with the recipe. Not today, let´s give this olive bread the spotlight it deserves.
This recipe for our French Fridays with Dorie group, is simple, pretty quick to make and can be adjusted here and there, like I did. Dorie urges us to do so. And there´s no messing with the boss´ orders.
The days here are so warm and sunny lately, they´re almost annoying. I don´t mind a mild winter, but this is no winter at all. I was ready to nest, enjoy the cold dark mornings and afternoons, bake and such, but all I get are short days. Warm short days, and they´re no fun.
My mother is visiting also. She has to send some papers to the US and I´m the designated notary, translator and general administrative, whether I like it or not.
So she happened to drop by about an hour after I had baked this bread. In no time she was armed with a glass of white wine and a thick slice of it, munching happily through sighs of contentment. So I told her to take it over to her friend´s house where she´s staying. Before I knew it, the olive bread was all wrapped up, just in case I changed my mind. Then I remembered I hadn´t taken the pictures. That would´ve been a bad thing to realize later, after she was gone.
So the bread got unwrapped, a few shots taken, and in no time it was back inside my mother´s purse. I don´t think it lasted long. I never asked how much of it made it to her friend´s house either.
The sun dried tomato pesto and whole wheat flour give it a chewy texture and shady color. It also has more of an eggy flavor. The braised garlic oil gave it a deep, complex aftertaste.
It is a great bread for soup or barbecue. I love the sudden burst of olive flavor here and there. And though I only had one slice, I suspect it´s amazing toasted, just like the cheddar scallion pecan bread.
Another good bread to have in the freezer for spur-of-the-moment needs.
BACK OF THE CARD CHEESE AND OLIVE BREAD
adapted from Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 8 servings
1 cup bread or all purpose flour
2/3 cups fine whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, at room tº
½ cup whole milk
6 ½ Tbs garlic infused oil
1 ½ Tbs sun dried tomato pesto, tapenade or regular pesto
2/3 cups chopped, pitted black olives
2 Tbs grated asiago cheese, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 375º. Line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch non-stick loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl stir flours and salt. Add grated cheese and stir to mix.
In a glass jar or bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Add milk, oil and pesto.
Add liquid ingredients to dry ones all at once. With a spatula quickly mix with a few strokes. Add the olives and mix some more, but do not overmix.
Transfer to the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
After 20 minutes in the oven, sprinkle with 2 Tbs grated asiago cheese if desired, and continue baking.
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