Sun-Dried Tomato Olive Bread

1 pkg. active dry or quick rise yeast
3 T. unbleached cane sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
8 sun-dried tomatoes, snipped into small bits with scissors
4 cups unbleached flour
2 t. salt
2 t. dried basil
2 t. dried oregano
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried parsley
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
3 T. olive oil

In a small bowl, stir together yeast and sugar. Pour warm water over the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes or until very foamy. Meanwhile place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside to rehydrate for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and herbs. When the yeast mixture is foamy, add it, the rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir well with a spoon, and use your hands to form into a ball of dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place a little olive oil in a bowl, give dough a twist in the bowl, turn over so the greased side is on top, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled. Punch dough down and knead for a minute on a floured surface. Roll dough into a large rectangle, starting on the shorter side of the rectangle, roll dough up like a jelly roll cake, tuck in the ends, and pinch the seam to seal. Sprinkle a little cornmeal on to a cookie sheet. Place shaped loaf, seam side down, on the cookie sheet, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a few diagonal slashes over the top of the loaf. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool before cutting.

Yield: 1 loaf


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