From Olive bread to Cheese bread there are many savory ingredients you can add to your breads that will surprise and delight.
We’ve sometimes enjoyed a bread loaf made with fruit or nuts, or gone traditional with a white or wheat bread. However, there’s a whole category of savory breads made with everything from cheese to olives, onions, garlic and even pepperoni and salami. These savory bread recipes are great with a bowl of soup, a salad or as a foundation for a sandwich. They’re also good with robust recipes like chili or stews. They’re easy to make in your bread machine as long as you remember a couple of key things.
For one, you may want to select the wheat setting on your bread machine. Many savory additions have added salt and salt tends to inhibit yeast. The wheat setting usually adds time and a kneading/rising cycle to give the yeast a chance to do its job. This is especially true with something like olive bread. Both the olives and the brine which are key ingredients have a lot of salt.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on when you add your savory ingredients. This is similar to adding fruits and nuts. The savory ingredients should sometimes be added after the first kneading cycle. There is often a beep to alert you to this point in the cycle. This isn’t always the case, but if the recipe instructs you to add at a certain point in the cycle, it’s best to do that.
Also, don’t assume that you can add savory ingredients to your automatic fruit and hut hopper if your machine is equipped with one. Savory ingredients tend to be moist and a bit sticky and may get stuck in the hopper. You could always dust them with flour the way we often do with raisins, but even then you may find the savory ingredients get stuck.
You can add just about any savory ingredient including anchovies and chopped cold cuts. Just make sure you are careful with the portion size. Savory ingredients are an accent flavor for a loaf and adding too much can inhibit the rise and overwhelm the taste of the bread. Many savory ingredients like herbs can be either fresh or dried. Typically you would double the amount for a fresh herb versus dried. You also have this option with things like garlic or onions. You can either add fresh or dried and once again you should double the amount for fresh.
With that in mind, here are 3 savory bread loaves that you can bake in your machine. You always have the option to remove the dough after the first rise and reshape it and finish it in the oven after a second rise. This is good to know if you want to make smaller, individual loaves or buns and rolls. That’s up to you.
Olive Bread Recipe:
This is a great bread for pastas and other recipes with flavorful sauces. You can use any type of olive you like although this recipe features Kalamata olives. You can also mix and match different olive varieties, just make sure you keep the portion at 2/3 of a cup. You can try taking that up to a full cup but you’ll definitely want to use the wheat cycle if you do. Try to never exceed a 1/2 cup of olive brine for this recipe although you can mix various olive brines to total a half cup if you want to experiment.
Yields: 2 pound loaf
- 1/2 cup brine from olive jar.
- Add Warm water (110° F.) to make 1 1/2 cups when combined with brine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried leaf basil
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup finely chopped kalamata olives or other olives of your choice
Put all ingredients except for the olives in the bread machine in the order indicated in the recipe or according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Choose wheat setting for the best rise; add the olives at the beep. This usually occurs after the first kneading cycle. Let the bread bake in the machine and when the cycle is complete you’re ready to eat. You can add more or less olives but don’t exceed a cup of chopped olives and don’t add more than a 1/2 cup of brine. Remember, the olive brine can adversely affect the yeast if you add too much.
Herbs and Parmesan Bread Recipe:
A proven winner with soups and salads. It’s also a bit easier to make because you can add all of the ingredients to the bread pan from the beginning.
The parmesan cheese can either be fresh parmesan that’s grated, or the dried parmesan in the shaker. Try not to exceed the 4 tablespoons regardless of what type of parmesan you’re using. Parmesan has a robust flavor and too much can overpower the taste of the bread. If you want more parmesan you can always sprinkle some on the bread.
Makes a 2 pound loaf
- 1 1/3 cups warm water (110° F.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves crushed garlic or 1 teaspoon of dried garlic
- 3 tablespoon combination of basil, chives, oregano, and rosemary (can be fresh or dried but double up to 6 tablespoons if you’re using fresh. You can use any combination of herbs you like but stay true to the measures)
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
Add ingredients to the bread machine in the order indicated in the recipe or the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the wheat cycle, medium crust and 2 pound loaf setting. You can add all of the ingredients including the savory ingredients at the outset, so you don’t have to wait for a beep to add the parmesan and the herbs.
Cheesy Onion Bread Recipe:
This bread goes great with stews, dishes that are served with a gravy, and spicy foods. Keep an eye on the onions and stay true to the recipe. The dominant flavor profile should be cheesy with an onion accent. Too many onions can be overwhelming. You should also sauté your onions to mellow them. Fresh onions contain sulfuric acid (it’s what makes you cry when you chop an onion), and the acid from fresh onions will have a definite affect on the yeast. You’ll also find that an Extra Sharp Cheddar gives you small chunks of cheese in the bread, while a milder Cheddar will melt into the loaf a bit more. That’s up to you and the texture you prefer.
Makes a 1 1/2 Pound Loaf
- 1 Cup of warm water (110° F.)
- 1 Teaspoon of Kosher or Sea Salt
- 3 Cups of Bread Flour
- 3/4 Cups of Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Dry Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons of Dried Minced Onion or 4 teaspoons of caramelized, sautéed onions
- 1 1/4 Teaspoons of Bread Machine Yeast
Select Basic-White Cycle – Medium crust, 1.5 pound loaf setting. Here again, you can add the savory ingredients at the beginning. You don’t have to wait for the beep following the kneading cycle. If you choose to brown the onions instead of using dried onions, dice an onion and add 4 tablespoons of the diced onions to some olive oil or butter. Don’t use more than a tbsp of oil or butter and toss them until they’re browned and caramelized. They should reduce to 2 tablespoons and can be added at the beginning of the cycle as well.
Remember, you Can Experiment
You can add other savory ingredients but always keep an eye on the salt content. As a general rule, the higher the salt content the less you should use. Anchovies and bacon are a good example. The same is true for some cold cuts like pepperoni, salami and pastrami. Chop cold cuts into a fine dice and don’t exceed 2 tablespoons with your first loaves. If you get a good result you might try adding a bit more.
Regardless of the ingredients, stick with bread flour and if you are adding a saltier ingredient – choose the wheat cycle to give the yeast its best chance to create a good rise. As you bake more and varied savory breads you can explore various combinations and other ingredients from hot peppers to other types of fresh vegetables. Just keep the savory proportions at a minimum at the outset and you should have success every time.
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I tried the cheese and onion bread, and my center collapsed as well. Followed recipe exactly, even temped water.
Sorry to hear about your collapsed bread. It has happened to me from time to time after baking thousands of loaves of bread. I’m sure you did everything right but here’s some of the things I have learned the hard way over the years.
1. When I’ve added too much yeast or by chance, happened to have a batch of hyper-active yeast (too fresh and too healthy) I’ve seen my bread dough rise beautifully only to find that the yeast overdose caused it to over inflate and collapse. I learned very quickly to measure my yeast carefully and over-active yeast is just bad luck.
2. Altitude. My brother lives in the Rocky Mountains and I learned very fast that high altitude allows breads to rise way higher and faster than low altitudes. I’m not sure where you live, but if you’re at a high altitude, try a little less yeast.
3. It’s okay to open the lid to the bread machine during the kneading cycle, but once a bread machine goes into the rising cycle and baking cycle lifting the lid can cause the dough or the baking bread to collapse. I’ve also had comments from people that their lids on their baking machines would not close all the way and that can make collapsed bread a chronic problem.
4. Bread flour is a good flour to use in a bread machine because it has a lot of gluten. More gluten than all purpose flour. Gluten really helps yeast to grow and rise. Maybe try using all-purpose flour if you used bread flour. All-purpose flour is a good flour and it has less gluten so that may tame the yeast.
5. Bad luck. Sometimes dough doesn’t cooperate and lets the yeast bubbles (carbon dioxide) escape causing the bread to fall.
6. Never skip the salt. Salt in many bread recipes is a very small amount and has nothing to do with the taste. Salt acts as a governor to moderate the yeast growth. It’s another reason why yeast runs rampant and over-inflates the bread.
7. If you want to try again, try just topping the dough with cheese rather than incorporating it into the dough. Cheese can interfere with the dough integrity and cause the yeast bubbles to permeate the dough in a haphazard pattern.
I hope you have better success. I’ve made this recipe many times and have been lucky so far, but as I already mentioned I’ve had my share of bread fails and hopefully this is a rare event for you.
Tried the herb and cheese bread. It seemed great and all seemed well until the centre caved in. What did I do wrong.