Braided Tapenade Bread Recipe

Braided Tapenade Bread Recipe Recipe

Braiding is a fancy way to present stuffed bread. To get this recipe started, I prepared the dough and let it rest for a few hours. Once it's ready to roll, the sides of the resulting long rectangle are cut into long strands, filled with tapenade (or your favorite filling) then the bread is tied into a two-strand braid. 

I used homemade tapenade made with kalamata olives, mustard and capers. I love the way the deep-purple color contrasts with the bread. The bread would also work well with hummus, guacamole, salsa or roasted bell pepper spread.

Ingredients

Yields: 12 servings

12 (8 x 10") rectangles homemade dough (puff pastry, bread dough or pizza dough)
¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 anchovy filets (optional), chopped
1 tablespoon sweet basil leaves, blanched and coarsely chopped
⅛ teaspoon salt, to taste
1 egg (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


Directions

Prepping the dough: Using a pairing knife, cut 2½" long strands (about ½" thick) on each side of the dough (as pictured).

Braided Bread Recipe with PictureMaking tapenade filling: In a mini-food processor (or blender), combine the chopped olives, anchovies (if used), 2 teaspoons honey, capers, basil, garlic and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Pulse until smooth. Drizzle with 2 tablespoon olive oil. Pulse until the oil is well incorporated. Transfer to a bowl. Add basil. Season with black pepper. Stir well using a spatula. Check seasoning; depending on the saltiness of the anchovies, add more salt if necessary (I made 2 batches so there would be a vegetarian version).

Assembly time:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg (if used) with 1 tablespoon water (or milk).

Spread a layer of tapenade in the center of the dough (on the uncut surface). Fold the top dough (located perpendicular to the strands) over the tapenade to seal the bread and start braiding by folding one strand towards the middle, alternating and overlapping each other. 

Transfer onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Brush the top with the egg and bake for 18 minutes. 

Bon appétit!


Tips

For a vegetarian version, omit the chopped anchovies.

You could prepare your own dough mixing 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2¼ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Add warm milk (½ to 1 cup) until the dough is formed and mix for about 10 minutes. Let rest for an hour and roll accordingly.

If you're planning on serving them as appetizers, reduce the dimension of the dough to create small nibble size bites.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on May 13, 2013.


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