With our soup the other night, I thought we needed some bread. However we had no bread in the house and it was too late for me to make my honey whole wheat bread. I remembered seeing a recipe for olive oil and salt bread in my Mark Bittman cookbook so I checked it out.
This is the perfect bread to go with soup recipe! It takes about the same time to bake as it does to make a good soup (45 minutes of baking time). The only thing I don't like about it is that it seems to be taunting me that I can't make biscuits (it is basically a type of biscuit--baking powder helps it rise instead of yeast). We all really liked it. Curtis and I dipped it in a little olive oil (I had some orange infused olive oil that I used). J and M also really liked it. I also liked cooking it in my black (cast-iron) skillet. There's just something about putting a black skillet into the oven to bake in that makes me happy.
Be sure to sprinkle the top with coarse salt at the halfway point. The salt on top was my favorite part about it, I believe. You can change the the add-ins to whatever you want. I also thought about adding some sun-dried tomatoes or rosemary or oregano. You can make it to match your soup! This uses a food processor to make it. I am sure you can also make it by hand. Just mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon and briefly knead on a lightly floured surface.
Olive Oil Salt Bread
from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
1/3 c olive oil
3 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt, preferably coarse or sea salt, plus coarse salt for sprinkling
1 c warm water
1/4 - 1/2" grated Parmesan Cheese
2 T (or more) chopped black olives
Put the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor fitted with a dough blade (the plastic one that came with the machine) and turn on. While the machine is running pour in the olive oil, then 3/4 c of the warm water through the feed tube. Process for 30 seconds. If the dough is too dry, add remaining water, 1 T at a time. If it is too wet, add a more flour, 1 T at a time. Process again if needed. The dough should be well-defined, not very sticky, and an easy to handle ball. Place the dough in a well oiled 8" oven-proof skillet or square baking pan. Press it until it fits the edges. Flip it over and press again. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 375 degrees oven. Remove foil, sprinkle top with a little coarse salt, and bake another 20 - 25 minutes, until the top is golden and springs back when touched gently. Cool briefly and then cut and serve. This is best warm but will keep for up to a day.