Val's Italian Salad Bread (by Valery Garon)


  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Boscoli Family Italian Olive Salad
  • 3 tablespoons Boscoli Family Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (or anise)
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal


In a large bowl, mix together yeast, sugar and water. Let stand 10 minutes to prove yeast is active. Add flour, salt, fennel and Boscoli Family Olive Salad. Place in mixer with bread hook and knead for about 10 minutes making sure that dough on the sides of bowl are pushed into the ball that forms. Dough should be slightly on the damp side when finished.
Spray large plastic bowl with cooking spray then place dough in bowl. Loosely cover bowl and place on counter for first rising. When dough has doubled in size, dump onto floured counter and add a little flour to make handling easier. Knead briefly to "punch down" dough.
Divide dough in half and place in two sprayed bread pans to which corn meal has been sprinkled on bottom. For second rising, I place pans uncovered in bottom warmer oven at about 95°F. When dough has risen to top of pan, remove and place in upper oven which has been preheated to 450°F. Be careful not to jar bread pans as it can cause dough to collapse.
Spray oven with a water sprayer. I use a Fabrez textile sprayer rinsed and filled with water. After about 10 minutes, turn oven down to 375°F and spray again. Spray once more at 20 minutes then again at 30 minutes when a thermometer is stuck into bread. When inside temperature is between 105°F and 110°F, remove and place on cooling racks.
Finished bread can be dipped into small bowl of Boscoli Family Extra Virgin Olive Oil laced with garlic salt or powder and pepper. Next day the flavor will improve. Try making a small sandwich with two slices spread with mayonnaise and filled with garlic balogna, salami and provolone cheese. "Some good, yeah!"

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