Puff pastry sheets, raspberries in syrup and bread dough are the secret weapons I keep in my freezer. And, my recipe for Olive Bread uses the last secret weapon for the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a pickup hors d’oeuvre for a cocktail party.
A loaf of frozen white bread dough is defrosted, rolled into a square and spread with some melted garlic butter. You can find tubs of butter flavored with olive oil and garlic in most supermarkets. This has become one of my favorite convenience products, as it saves time while delivering great garlic flavor. If you can’t find this ingredient, simply combine 2 tablespoons of melted butter with one small clove of garlic, pressed.
You could stop there, perhaps add some sprigs of fresh rosemary and bake up some delicious focaccia. But go forward with the recipe, and add pitted Green Spanish and black Greek olives and shredded cheese and you’ve got something truly special.
The finishing touch before baking is a brushing of olive oil and sprinklings of chopped rosemary and coarse sea salt. Then, in 25 to 30 minutes, you’ll have a loaf of bread that doesn’t hint of its ease of preparation!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll dough into a 12x12-inch square and brush it with melted garlic butter. Place the olives down the center of the dough. Top with cheese. Fold the left side over the filling, and then fold the right side over the top. Place the loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh rosemary and coarse sea salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Makes 1 loaf.