Writings on curious recipes, food I've tasted around the world and the quest for finding the perfect blueberry muffin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Onion and olive baps - and possibly the best bread I've ever made

This shall be the post in which I lament the fact that I've been deprived of olives for the majority of my life. This shall be the post where I blame my  - otherwise quite lovely - mother for that deprivation. This shall be the post where I tell you a sad story. So here goes.

"Whatever you do, don't eat those," my mom said and pointed to a small glass bowl filled with little black marbles. "Why not?" I asked. "Oh, because olives are disgusting," she replied.

Okay, so she probably didn't use the word disgusting, but something to that effect and for whatever it's worth her words had a hard impact on my six-year-old self. For the next 12 years I didn't so much as touch those things.

Until, one day I did.

I was at a party and, once again, olives were right in front of me for the grabbing. Instead though, I pushed them away, mumbling "bleeeh" under my breath. My friend stared at me in disbelief. "Don't tell me you don't like olives," he said, happily plopping one into his mouth. "Um.." I twirled my hair, a thing I do when I'm embarrassed. "Well, I've never actually tried one," I replied. "You have to." I hesitated. "Just taste," he insisted. And so I did.

And I tasted pure deliciousness. That and regret. And anger. Why had I listened to my mom anyway? After all, she is most definitely the pickiest eater I know. She rejects everything from fish, to yogurt, to chestnuts to any cheese that actually tastes like something.

Sometimes I seriously think I've been adopted.

For whatever it's worth, ever since that olive-tasting, life-changing day I decided a) never to trust my mother in food related affairs again and b) that olives are amazing, and that together with bread and some good cheese they can save an otherwise terrible day. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I didn't have olives at home.

Ironically, my brother has an almost identical story to tell. He too was olive deprived for many a year and  now loves olives, and, especially, olive bread. A while ago, and possibly after one too many olive baguettes from Gail's, he asked me to give it a go at home. Ever since, I have been searching for the perfect recipe (because there's nothing more frustrating than baking bread that isn't everything home-made bread should be..) I finally came across a recipe that looked very promising.

And, in fact, it turned out to be a true winner. My brother was absolutely impressed ("you made these?!?" - though he could have masked his amazement a little), and I,  too, was so very, very pleased. I'll definitely be making these baps again and again. Which is good, because we've got a lot of olive-eating catching up to do. 18 years to be exact.

Thanks mom.

Onion and olive baps

As stated above, I spent some time searching for a good recipe. When I spotted this one in Dan Lepard's new book Short and Sweet, I knew I had to try it. Since moving to London, I've been following Dan's baking contributions for the Guardian - and yet I've never tried any of his recipes. Short and Sweet came out last fall to rave reviews, and when I finally got my hands on it, I could see why. I nearly bookmarked every recipe.

I only made slight changes to his original recipe - I didn't have any red onions so I used 200g yellow ones and I also used a mix of olives (125g)- black Anfissa olives, whole green olives and Pimento stuffed Kalkidis olives. Oh, and I ran out of strong flour, so I used 100g of 00 flour. And they were amazing.

Update - sorry guys, I've been asked to take the recipe down, but you can find the full recipe here.



kyleen said...

I'm not a big fan of olives, but I imagine they would taste so good in bread. (I don't like mushrooms either, but I love me a deluxe pizza).

Why we ever listened to our parents I'll never know...

littlemissdids said...

Haha, true!

I definitely think you should try this! That being said, maybe you could substitute some chopped up sun-dried tomatoes for the olives, if you prefer those!

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