Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Blooming Garden and Rustic Olive Bread Recipe.

I was wandering through the garden this morning and noticing that the incessant rains we have been enduring have certainly made a difference to growth. Plants are beginning to grow in abundance - funny, I never notice that plants aren't growing as well as they could be when it's dry. When it rains continuously for weeks though there are definite changes. Beautiful changes!

More birds are being attracted to the garden now, and this Lorikeet made himself at home very close to the front patio. Here he is having a munch on the seeds from the Golden Cane Palm.

I have never shared a recipe with you before, but if you like olives and rosemary this is an easy peasy Rustic Olive Bread to die for! I thought I had lost this recipe but as I was moving a bookcase and flicking through all the mags, I was delighted to find the tattered and well used page from a 2003 garden magazine!

I baked two loaves last night and decided to give one away to my friend Joyce. I made the executive decision that it was no longer Christmas and we did not have to eat both loaves!!

Needless to say that within five minutes at Joyce's house, her olive loaf was almost half gone. Even her gorgeous husband wanted to slice his own for a thicker slice. It was hillarious! Sorry for sharing your secrets Joyce.

If you have the taste for the Mediterranean edge and prepared to get down and oily, this if for you...

Rustic Olive and Rosemary Bread

5 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup halved, pitted, cured and brined olives
300ml tepid water
1/3 cup olive oil
Extra rosemary sprigs, halved olives, sea salt and olive oil, to garnish.

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, rosemary and salt. Stir in olives. make a well in the centre. Add water and oil and mix to a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 10-15 minutes. Place dough in a clean, oiled bowl turning the dough to coat with oil.

Turn dough out and with oiled hands (love this bit!), divide and shape it into loaves about 25mm thick. Place on oiled baking trays and decorate with rosemary, extra olives and sea salt. Let it rise again for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 220 deg C. Drizzle loaves with extra oil and bake until cooked though and golden.

(You can pat this dough out into any shape/s. Strew with pizza toppings for a more substantial feast. Either way, it' delicious fresh out of the oven or the next day. Yum!)

A New Year means new challenges...Bring it on 2011!!. Happy New Year!



*Spring Blossom* said...

WOW your roses are looking beautiful!!! What a stunning pink :)
Happy New Year to you!

Megan said...

Hi Pam, Happy new Year to you and your family. Your new header looks beautiful!!

vintage mum said...


Just when I am thinking of cutting back up pops another good receipe :)and for once I actually have all the ingrediants. Thanks for sharing.

Your roses look lovely I can't wait for spring
Cate x

Make mine Mid-Century said...

Happy New Year, Pam!

That loaf looks delicious ... much better than the Woolies sliced bread I've just dragged home.

Jenevieve said...

Lovely photos! You are such a talented photographer! The bread looks yummy, not entirely sure whether I like olives though, think I had them once on their own, maybe they taste better in bread? :) x

Fish Tail Cottage said...

oh i love it that you have a blooming garden this time of year & a visitor so beautiful like that Lorikeet....we only find those birds in a pet store! Thank you so much for sharing! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hi Pam, Happy New Year to you and your family. Your new header looks beautiful.

maría cecilia said...

dear Pam, it´s january first here in chile so I want to wish you and family a very happy and blessed year and may all your dreams come true.

melissa said...

Happy New Year Pam, your roses look stunning and the olive bread recipe is one i would love to try!
All the best for 2011 x

A Treasured Past said...

Hi Pam,

Happy New Year to you also if I haven't already said so. I don't know what day it is or who I have said what to lately!

I know what you mean with the postage thing, it took me hours to post the first one! It was easier last time (2008).

Wishing you a wonderful year ahead, Tamara

Sarah B said...

What gorgeous images of your roses. I have quite a lot of this red/green new growth as well which is nice.
The bread looks really yummy. I'm not a fan of olives but think this would be worth a go for sure!

Ky said...

That bread recipe looks like it tastes divine! I might just have to give it a go. Thanks for sharing Pam.

Hope 2011 is a fabulous year for you! xx

kit and nancy. said...

happy new year pam! the rains have been so crazy but how beautiful are the gardens looking! your olive loaf looks delish. hope you had a wonderful christmas and i look forward to seeing what you have in store for 2011. thank you for your lovely comments as always. xo

My Striped Seaside said...

Just lovely to have found your blog...will add to my sidebar all I have read so far..your beautiful roses make me miss my old garden :) Mel xx

All things nice... said...

Oh what a lovely post, lovely plants and that bird is so beautiful :)

All things nice...

Natasha said...

Wow, Pam that bread looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe-so glad you found it!

Your garden is looking so beautiful-I guess we'd better enjoy the rain while it lasts; I can see that all of this rain, flooding and devastation is probably leading up to another drought in another year or so.

Take care and best wishes for a fabulous 2011!

Ps I love your profile picture! It's so nice to put your gorgeous face to the name!

delia hornbook said...

Hi Pam, Wow those 2 photo's of your roses are stunning you captured the dew on them to amazing they would look gorg framed. And the little bird wow so colourful what a beauty. And i love olives and that bread looks yummy thank you for sharing that i will be writing it down and having a go. Happy new year to you. Dee x

Alison Gibbs said...

Hi Pam we sure have been having some crazy weather here in the land of Oz. Your roses look gorgeous.
mmmmm.. that is one yummy loaf recipe you are sharing with us