Rosemary Olive Bread with Cracked Black Pepper

Normally I would not post a recipe that didn’t turn out exactly the way it was intended. But this didn’t meet standards only because I neglected to follow the Galley Pirates’ Cardinal Rule. So if you follow the recipe as written, your bread will be a beautiful mound of a loaf, with that hollow sound as you knock it, not looking like the “focaccia style” bread seen above. (This was, none-the-less, delicious!)

First off, this recipe makes TWO HUGE LOAVES. Great for the kitchen, but I would recommend cutting this recipe in half for a small galley oven. I managed to get the two loaves to fit but they were really crowded.

Rosemary Olive Bread with Cracked Black Pepper

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3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons or 2 1-ounce packages of active dry yeast
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
6-7 cups flour
2 cups chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

Roughly chop 2 cups pitted Kalamata olives. This is a lot of olives, you can decrease the amount if you’d like. Mince the rosemary and course grind or mortar/pestle grind the black pepper into the rosemary.

Place the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix. Let set for 10 minutes until frothy. Add olive oil and salt and mix.

Add the flour about 1 cup at a time until you get a stiff dough. Add the olives, rosemary and black pepper and mix in with your hands until well combined.

Knead on a floured board until smooth and springy.

Grease a large bowl with more EVOO. Place the dough in the bowl and rub with a little more EVOO. Cover lightly with Saran Wrap.

MAKE SURE YOUR BOWL IS BIG ENOUGH to accommodate twice the amount of dough you already have. Ooops…

Let rise in a warm area for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 400º. Punch the dough down and split into two loaves. Let the loaves rise for 20-25 minutes then place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.

So…this sounds all good so far now doesn’t it? The bread was in the oven for 20 minutes…literally half baked…and I ran out of propane! AND I had neglected to fill the spare tank the last time I ran out of propane. Galley Pirate Cardinal Rule #1: DON’T RUN OUT OF FUEL!

As I got out the tools to unhook my two propane tanks and haul them off to the filling station I wondered if there was a worse time to run out of propane. Baking bread is high on the list. (Half way through steaming a pot of crabs, though, would be worse.) The fortunate thing was that I was at a dock, not on the hook or off shore.

Here’s the “tank changing” refresher every galley pirate knows by heart:

Changing out the propane tank…in the middle of meal prep!

Changing out the propane tank…in the middle of meal prep!
Turn off the tank valve (hand wheel) Pull out nozzle Teflon tape Place nozzle into new tank The Soapy Water Test Turn it back on

Turn off the tank valve (hand wheel)

Be sure your tank valve (the knob on top of the tank) is closed off. Using a good sized wrench (preferably not a monkey wrench as I did here) unscrew the adapter valve. Pro tip: the propane adapter has reverse threads.

Pull out nozzle

Once you've pulled out the nozzle* you can unscrew any lock down devices used that hold your tanks. I've had three different boats and none of the propane systems have been the same.
*I'm calling it a nozzle here. It is also called the adapter valve, the connector fitting.

Teflon tape

Wrap teflon tape around the threads. Be sure to wrap it around at least four times or so. This will give a nice seal.

Place nozzle into new tank

You may need to secure the tank locking devices before you can place the nozzle back into the new tank. Tighten it very tightly with the wrench (but like anything, do not over-tighten and strip the threads.) Turn the tank valve on.

The Soapy Water Test

Now test to be sure it doesn't leak. Take a small cup of water with dish soap stirred into it. Pour over the seal of the valve and check for bubbles. If it bubbles the valve either needs to be tightened, or needs to be shut off completely, removed and threads checked.

Turn it back on

Turn on the propane switch inside and light your stove.

Whew! Now, back to cooking...

The bread had fallen to that “focaccia like” state, never to rise again. But I was into it this far; I’m certainly not going to abandon the project at this point.

With a very helpful skipper who installed my tanks while I returned the dock cart, I was back in business in fifteen minutes.

The cabin filled with the wonderful smell of baked bread and rosemary, so I knew it wasn’t a complete disaster. I baked it for another 30 minutes, brought the two loves out of the oven and let them sit a bit before slicing into one loaf. Flattened or not, the bread was delicious! The next day I took the second loaf into my office in DC and it was devoured before noon. Picky eaters my colleagues are not!

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