basil, olive + sun-dried tomato bread
So here’s something I don’t so much love about pregnancy: um, NIGHTMARES.
I’m serious. Apparently this is a thing that can happen when you’re with child — something that’s been happening to me nightly, if not twice nightly. You get these crazy, vivid, out-of-control dreams-slash-nightmares and the worst part is? You can’t do a thing about it. You just have to ride it out.
Which means I’ll be spending a lot of time every night with zombies in my attic and murderers trying to decapitate my husband and/or cat and waking up a sweaty mess with my arms clutching my sides like I’m hugging myself in fear. Fear of the zombies, that is.
The last couple of nights have been a little better — as in, I have more stress dreams than dreams of the undead — and I have decided to credit it to this bread. Because after I made this bread, the zombies went away. Ergo, I’m making and eating this bread every day henceforth until May. And then I might even keep eating it afterwards. Just to be extra-safe, you know.
But I digress, because we’re really all here to ogle over this bread and all its delicious qualities, of which there are many. Take, for example, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, which are sweet but tangy and oh-so-tasty both in bread and on the side. Or, the salty kalamata olives tucked inside the loaf. Or the chopped basil, which gives the loaf just enough added oomph in flavor and brightness that you can’t help but feel like birds are actually chirping outside and springtime is just around the corner. Chyeah. This bread is pretty magical.
And because of those aforementioned magical qualities, I’ve been eating this bread round the clock as any and all meals — toast topped with an egg for breakfast; veggie sandwich bliss for lunch; cheesy and/or garlic toast with pasta for dinner. Oh, and don’t forget the snacktime ritual, which is basically just ripping off pieces of the bread and eating them plain, or when I’m feeling less like a cavewoman, toasting a slice or two and slathering it with butter. It should come as no surprise that I’ve added a few extra snacktimes into my day just for this bread.
So I’m just going to sit here and eat my basil, olive and sun-dried tomato bread all day, every day, until the nightmares go away, mmk? I suggest you follow suit — except hopefully without all the zombies.
Basil, Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Bread
- Prep Time: 3 hours 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 1 loaf 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Bake
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cups warm water (110–115 degrees F), divided
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups bread flour (or more all-purpose flour)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained, chopped and patted dry
- 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Olive oil, for brushing
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup warm water. Let sit 10 minutes until foamy (if it doesn’t foam up, discard and try again).
- Add remaining 1 cup water, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, 1 1/2 cups bread flour and the salt; stir to form a dough.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to make a smooth, soft, elastic and only slightly sticky dough OR knead 5 minutes in stand mixer with dough hook attachment on medium speed, adding more flour as needed to make a smooth, soft, elastic and only slightly sticky dough.
- By hand, carefully knead in sun-dried tomatoes, olives and basil until evenly distributed throughout dough. Shape dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled.
- When dough is doubled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with flour. Punch down dough and transfer to baking sheet.
- Gently pat dough into a 10-by-8-inch oval. Fold one long side up and over to the center; press edge into center of dough to adhere. Fold other long side up and over to the center; press edge into center of dough to adhere. Pinch and press ends of dough to form points (so the dough almost looks like a large football).
- Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 45 minutes to 1 hour until doubled.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover dough and brush lightly with oil. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.
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This looks heavenly!! I want to rip some off, slather it in butter and devour. Also, absolutely adore how you photographed this with the chalkboard – too cute! Pinned.
I’m LOVING this – and the photos! Looks amazing, so many great flavors.
So, last week I had TWO nightmares that I was pregnant and couldn’t go on an upcoming trip. I can’t even imagine how out of control things will be if/when I’m ACTUALLY pregnant. I better keep this bread around for comfort! (It’s gorgeous, PS)
This is an odd thing to say but: you make the BEST bread loaf shapes I’ve ever seen!
This is one gorgeous loaf of bread.lives and sun-dried tomatoes together are a great match and basil anything is always good!
WHOA!! This sounds like a flavor punch!
Every time you make bread, I am left staring at the screen wanting more. Gosh I am so afraid to make bread. I need to stop saying that and just do it!
Aww man!! This is filled with so much goodness!
My sister had the same problem when she was pregnant; do not worry hers went away a month. I am sure yours will got away soon.
However I am going to be dreaming of this loaf.So pretty and the flavors are so punchy it is hard not to love it.
Girl, those pregnancy nightmares are the worst! This bread looks amazing, and I love the cute chalkboard!
Spending the night running away from axe murderers or being stressed out is no fun at all. I hope you start having restful sleeps and that the nightmares disappear! This bread is delicious! I can just imagine biting into a slice of sun-dried tomato-y, olive-y tastiness! I’d be slathering butter all over this baby doll!
beautiful bread!! i didn’t realize pregnancy + nightmares were a thing, but i guess that makes sense ’cause your body is like ‘you’re about to be a mother!’ and maybe your senses are all like ‘omg’ whacked out and worried all the time. haha i talk like i’m a doctor..honestly, i hope it stops for you!! nightmares are so terrifying!
Gaaahhhh….nightmares are the worst! Sorry friend…hope they go away soon. On a happier note – this bread! I want to rip off a big, honkin piece and dip it in some lightly salted olive oil.
Rachel — It’s seriously the best thing ever with butter… do it! Thanks for pinning!
Ali — Thank you so much!