Olive, Onion Lavender Bread

The new company with which I work was kind enough to send me a gift this holiday season. It was a Lavender themed cookbook named appropriately, “The Lavender Cookbook.”

Well, all of you at Amaxra, thank you! So what do you do when you get a new cookbook?  Most of us put it on the shelf and pretend that we might at one time crack it open (when you have company for dinner). I decided to take the initiative make a lavender themed something or other. As luck would have it, it was tasty, so it made the blog!

1 cup warm water (about 100 degrees)
2 and 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
2/3 cup coarsely chopped olives
2/3 cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp lavender buds
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn meal
2 cups whole wheat flour
3-3 and 1/2 cups white flour

Let’s froth up this bread! First pour the warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let that sit aside and get all foamy.  The yeast activating is always a fun process. You look away for a munite and when you look back, you’ve created life!

Then add in the warm milk, onions, olives, butter, lavender, sugar, salt, pepper and cornmeal. Then add in the wheat flour and beat it all together.

This will form a sticky thick dough. Don’t be alarmed. It’s OK if it sticks to your hands. Add the white flour 1 cup at a time.

Get in there and knead it (press the dough over and over on a flat surface) for a few minutes. Once most of the white flour is incorporated, roll the bread into a ball and place it in grease bowl. Now comes the waiting…cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise for about 1 and 1/2 hours until it has doubled in size.

***If it doesn’t change size, your yeast is dead and you’re out of luck. Enjoy your unleavened bread! If this happens mabye order Thai food.

During this time you can call Russia, get a shiatsu massage, or drink a few shots of bourbon. Whatever you deem most relaxing.

Once your dough has risen, punch it down like a kitchen prize fighter. It will deflate like my shattered ego. Divide it in two and roll those bits into balls.

Place them on a baking sheet (or pizza stone if you’re fancy) sprinkled with some more corn meal. Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 F). Let them rise again for about 30-45 minutes.

Now toss those little buns in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.  I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes, but I wasn’t proud of it and they let me keep the tutu. Moving on…I meant to say, “doesn’t this take a long time?” Yes, but it is worth it.

Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes to cool. Cut into slices and serve with olive oil and cheeses.


Labels: bread, lavender, olives

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