Yeasty things intimidate me. And I’m not talking about the infections. Yup, I went there. The first time I baked a loaf of bread— in the oven, get your mind on track here– was two months ago and I was mildly successful. I mean, it was edible. It was good even. But I’m no baker. I do have another yeasty, bready treat to share but not this time.
This time I’m sharing a “quick bread” recipe which means no rising time needed. I adapted this recipe from one in Joy of Cooking which is my go-to cookbook, often something I check before I go to Google. How many people say that anymore!? Anyhow, you can find this original recipe in the book or online but I made some adjustments that really lightened up the loaf and added flavor.
The leavening in this recipe is the baking powder and the eggs also will have an impact on the final product. While I show whole eggs above, I still had leftover egg whites from making egg yolk pasta and used the whites instead which probably made this a little lighter than using whole eggs. What you see above is all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, milk, salt, olives, eggs, rosemary and good olive oil. Nuts like walnuts were in the recipe but I switched them out for garlic.
In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: eggs, milk and olive oil. I may have also added a little more egg white than called for because I was winging it. More egg whites should make lighter bread. The above picture shows what good olive oil looks like. Golden with a green tinge.
Throw in the olives, garlic and nuts if you are using them. For the record, the olives and garlic are roughly chopped. The garlic cooks in the bread so you’re not going to bite into the raw garlic but it should be small enough so you don’t get a whole mouthful. Mix or fold until the additions are evenly distributed and then scrape the bowl into a well oiled bread pan.
Theoretically I suppose you could let this bread rest at this point, but it’s definitely ready for the oven right away. That’s why it’s called quick bread. Not make everything and then let it rest bread. Throw it into a preheated 350-degree oven for about 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. It will be lightly browned on top when it’s ready. Let it rest for a few minutes before popping it out of the pan.
We enjoyed ours with that good olive oil and the freshly made ricotta. It would be great as a starter bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s super easy to make but dare I say better than laying out a grocery store loaf of French bread? Yes. I do declare.
Do you have a favorite go-to recipe for quick bread or do you like yeasty things and aren’t intimidated by them?
Quick Mediterranean Olive and Garlic Bread (adapted from Joy of Cooking)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon rosemary (fresh or dried, but use more if you like rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (or use egg whites only for a slightly lighter bread)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped pitted imported olives
6 cloves chopped garlic
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees and oil a 8 in. x 4 in. loaf pan liberally. Make sure to get the sides and everything.
- Mix dry ingredients (flours, through salt) in a bowl then in a separate (mixing) bowl mix the dry ingredients (eggs through olive oil).
- Once everyone is separately mixed, add the dry mixture to your wet mixture and combine only until the dry is about 3/4 wet.
- Add the olives, garlic and nuts if you are using them. Mix or fold this mixture until the add-ins are evenly distributed. The batter will be pretty thick and stiff.
- Scrape the batter into the well oiled pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40- 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely on a rack for at least 5 – 10 minutes before turning out the loaf.
You can eat the bread right away and it’s also crazy delicious to toast slices and enjoy that way (with cheese melted on top!?). Enjoy!