The first time I baked bread using my crock pot was successful enough that I decided to try my hand at making another loaf this weekend. This particular bread recipe uses the same proportions of ingredients as the last loaf, but I’ve replaced the rosemary and red pepper flakes with black olives and fresh thyme this time around. I think this turned out pretty well. For dinner I used the bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich to eat with my veggie soup.
Olive & Thyme Bread Recipe
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 packet dry active yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- 1¼ cups warm water
- ¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped and divided into 2 batches
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, divided into 2 batches
- 2 cups of pitted black olives, roughly chopped (equivalent to 2 cans of whole olives)
Other Supplies and Tools:
- Parchment paper
- Kitchen towel
- Paper towels
- Instant read thermometer
- Crock Pot (mine has a 5-quart capacity)
1) In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes. The mixture should bubble.
2) Stir in half of the salt (1/2 teaspoon), half of the thyme (2 tablespoons), the 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and all of the flour. Mix until fully combined.
3) Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough in. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and leave the dough in a warm, draft-free area. Let it sit and rise for 1 hour.
4) Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Press the dough down into a flat circle. Sprinkle a cup of the chopped olives over it. Then fold the dough over in half to hide the olives inside.
5) Press the dough down flat again. Sprinkle the remaining cup of olives on top of the dough. Fold the dough over a second time.
6) Gently roll the dough into a ball and let it sit for another 20 minutes.
7) Set your crock pot to high. Line the crock pot with two pieces of parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches hanging out of each side of the crock pot. Gently place the dough in the crock pot (seam side down) and sprinkle it with the remaining salt and thyme.
8) Drape paper towels over the top of the crock pot– this captures moisture from the baking process and prevents it from dripping onto the bread. Cover the pot with the lid.
9) Bake the bread for approximately 2½ hours, or until the loaf has an internal temperature of 190-200°F. Remove from the crock pot.
10) The loaf will look a little pale on the outside even though it is fully cooked. If you want, you can set it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to toast the crust.
11) Cool the loaf before slicing and serving.