Olive Oil Bread
In all likelihood, you’re all baked out by now. Maybe you, like me, baked all night yesterday. Or you’re baking all day today. Your oven is probably exhausted by now, and it’s still got hours of turkey-cooking to do. I don’t judge you if you hear the word “baking” and scoff. I’d be with you. Except that I already made this olive oil bread last night and had it for breakfast this morning and let me tell you — it is good. Good enough to make you decide you have time to make just one more thing. Good enough to make you turn on that oven one more time. Good enough that your oven won’t even fight you on it. And after a day of unbridled excess, it’s nice to wake up to something a tad sweet and, with its use of heart-healthy olive oil instead of butter, a little earnest.
The recipe, from Epicurious, was pretty darn simple, with its one bowl and and four steps (one of which is preheating your oven). But after rooting around in the comments, I decided that the best way to produce a moist bread was by mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately. I promise this only adds an extra two minutes, as the rest of the process is a total cinch. I made a few other changes: using less sugar, swapping out pine nuts and raisins for slivered almonds and adding orange zest/juice to boost the citrus flavor.
The olive oil flavor is very light here — you really have to look for it, so if the idea of baking with olive oil skeeves you out a little, this is a good place to start. If you’re looking for a more pronounced flavor, you might try playing with the proportions of oil and milk, though I went with what the original recipe said.
With a cup of coffee, this is the perfect breakfast bread for those of us looking to give ourselves a break after the big day.
– 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– a pinch of salt
– 3/4 cup of sugar
– 2 eggs
– 3/4 cup milk
– 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
– zest and juice of one lemon
– zest of one navel orange + juice of half an orange
– 1/4 cup of slivered almonds
1) In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and mix.
2) Mix together the eggs, milk and olive oil in a separate bowl. Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix only until combined.
3) Add the zest and juice of the lemon and orange. Toss in the almonds and mix evenly.
4) Pour into a well-buttered 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake at 350˚F for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.