One bite of this delicious loaf and you have an enticing insight into the tastes of Northern Spain. Fruity green olives combined with earthy walnuts makes for a taste and texture match that could have been made in heaven. The addition of Thyme, which the Spanish use often as a compliment to olives, not only adds a delightful aroma but is a typical ingredient of the region.
If you want to sample this bread in a traditional Catalan way then it could not be simpler. Toast the bread and rub lightly with a clove of garlic and some freshly cut tomato. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and finish with a fresh twist of sea salt and black pepper. This is a simple and delightful way to enjoy the quintessential flavours of Spain.
Walnut, Thyme and Olive Bread
650 g (1 lb 7oz) strong wholemeal bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vitalite, or other vegan margarine
2 teaspoons agave nectar
75 g (3 oz) green olives, halved
50 g (2 oz) walnuts, slightly crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
450 ml (16 fl oz) warm water, 1 part boiling, 2 parts cold
A 7 g packet of Easy Bake Yeast – the kind that does not need to be activated.
In a mixing bowl mix together the flour, salt and yeast.
Place the vitalite and agave in a small cup and melt gently over some hot water or a few seconds in the microwave. Pour this into the bowl along with the warm water and mix to form a dough.
Remove to a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes until the dough becomes elastic and is smooth to the touch.
Stretch out the dough and place on the olives, walnuts and thyme. Fold over the dough and continue to knead until the olives and walnuts are incorporated. This may take a few minutes, but it will soon come together. Try not to have anything protruding through the dough.
Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius (450 F) Gas Mark 8.
Shape into a loaf shape and place on a baking tray that has been lined with parchment. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for around 45-50 minutes.
Place in a preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. If the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom then the loaf is cooked.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Hi. My name is Danny and I love to cook… and more than that… I love to share my recipes with others.
I have been Vegan since 2011 when I finally made the transition from Vegetarian of which I had been since my early teens. My style of cooking is very diverse and I love experimenting with foods from other cultures and working with different techniques to create original and exciting meals.
Flavour combinations are another passion of mine, as is finding new and exciting uses for common store cupboard ingredients.
You can also keep up with Dann’ys posts and support him on his active Facebook page of The Gourmet Vegan.