I don't know why I've been sitting on this post. This was the third quick bread that I made for February's Daring Baker's Challenge, and I think it turned out to be the most photogenic. I though it had a lovely flavour, which is impressive given that I'm only just flirting with the idea that I don't hate olives. If I were to make this again, I think I'd actually use black olives instead of green. I'm a bit more friendly towards green because I like the ones that are stuffed with almonds, but I found them a bit to. . . mild? Not salty enough? I'm not enough of an olive connoisseur to know much about their flavour profiles. I also think that black olives might make the bread look even prettier. David Lebovitz, whose recipe this is (of course), calls for either colour, so it's not like I was taking a huge risk going green.
(The internet has just now taught me that green olives are just under-ripe black olives and that both are inedible without curing. So. . . who was it way back in misty history who thought, "These things are inedible, but I bet I can eat them if I soak them with salt!" I suppose if you grow up near the ocean you try dunking everything in salt?)
The smell of this bread baking is fantastic. It comes out of the oven beautifully golden and it's hard not to cut into it right away, but you really should let it cool down. I was a bit eager about knocking it out of its loaf pan and I nearly snapped it in half which you can sort of see in the last picture. Really, that's a good thing because it means that the loaf isn't tough and brick-like. The crumb is moist and perfect--not too dense. I spread it with extra butter because butter is my messiah. (Though, at some point this last weekend I also declared that my messiah is a crucified chocolate-egg-laying rabbit, so take your pick.)
|Aren't egg yolks cute?|
The recipe is fantastically easy to toss together, if you don't include a substantial bit of cheese-grating and olive-chopping at the beginning. You just whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl, whisk the wet ingredients and the scallions together in another bowl, and then mix them both together before folding in the cheese and olives. Quick bread indeed.
I think I preferred this loaf to the chocolate beet loaf, but I still look back MOST fondly upon the grapefruit cake. Unsurprising, given my predilection for all things sweet and gooey. Will I make this loaf again? If I were rating that likelihood on a Likert scale, I'd probably give it a 5. That number would be higher if I didn't already have a savoury goat cheese bread recipe made almost entirely of potatoes that is totally brilliant.
Goat Cheese and Olive Bread Recipefrom David Lebovitz's Sweet Life in Paris
1 1/2 cup (188 g) AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
1/2 cup (125 g) plain yogurt
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (aka spring onions, green onions, baby onions, depending your upbringing)
6 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 oz parmesan, grated
1/4 cup olives, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9" loaf pan.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in one large bowl, and the wet ingredients plus the scallions in another bowl. Stir the wet mixture into the dry until just mixed, then fold in the cheeses and the olives. Stick the batter in your loaf pan and bake it for 50 to 60 minutes until the center springs back when you poke it gently. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn it out (carefully) to cool on a rack.