Harsh realities /-/ Black Olive pesto crusted cheese loaf

For anyone who has been through or (currently going through) secondary education, namely University or collage, there soon comes to point where you become very depressed. Maybe it only happens to art or social science students but in my last year of education; social science has sucked out the life any kind of positive social change.


So how does it relate to food? Well I have become more depressed about the state of our food system than when I first begun looking at food politics. It is impossible to ignore issues surrounding agriculture and common resource use; it is everywhere. Your morning coffee run is most likely from a chain that sources “fair trade” beans (whatever you think it means), the cup is 100 precent recycled material from odd coffee cups and the sexy brown sugar you use is “naturally sourced”. I am not blaming you, I do this too; but what I thought was the just the normal system is always, (really always!), something bigger than what is on the surface.


Sociology has sucked the life out any positive food experience; like when Pollan decided to write a book about how we are all going to hell because we buy into commercialism and grow our own food. Of course I think it is important we do pay attention to these issues, and make serious attempts of changing our food resourcing ; using guilty to change the way we purchase food is not working. In fact it makes use less likely to change, because I am pretty sure I am not the only one who has thought “Hell this system is bigger than me; so I am going to just go with the flow”


These writers fail to realise is the common Joe who lives in standard suburb is not as a privileged as they make us out to be. Our lives are more complicated than they make it out to be. We do not have the resources or time to hope down to local farmer’s market every week in order to purchase the Non-commercial veggies and fruit; and the average weekly budget of a family can hardly cover life as it is now without the added cost of Organic.

Also what about the families who have bigger issues than the food we eat? namely disability support and medical support for those who care or suffer from chronic illness. For them it is not a main issue whether or not their pork comes from a free range pig: they are trying to keep their head float with other expenses.

Should they feel guilt just because there are not buying according the sustainable living mantra?

Like I said depressing. 


Hopefully this bread will not be black and depressing as it looks. I fail at the kitchen science. I might love cheese with a passion but I sometime forget the melting point of cheese. What resulted in my carelessness is that the lower melting point cheese when brown too quickly before the hard cheese did, which is why the topping looks funky. 

FAIL Belinda Fail. 

The top is painted with a black olive and basil pesto. I am not sure how to describe this but it is dark, salty and reminiscent of an adult cheese and bacon bread. We all know how much we love those bacon and cheese rolls. Free to use whatever cheese you want but if you do use the ones I did, place the gruyere on first then the edam cheese. This means you will not get the weird crackle look I have; Unless you are making this for Halloween which you can then pull off a scary zombie bread. Foldable sandwich bread with a savoury cheesy pesto crust; sandwiches are calling to be made with this bread.

Black olive crusted cheese loaf

Makes 1 loaf

Black olive pesto

50ml extra virgin olive oil

100g loosely packed fresh basil leaves

110g pitted black Spanish olives

1 tbs grated parmesan

1 garlic clove

100 ml ish normal olive oil

Place the above ingredients in a food processor and process until it is rough chunky paste.

Use as directed in recipe


20g sugar

30g olive oil

350ml water

30g skim milk powder

7g yeast

300g bread flour

200g all purpose flour

8g salt

50g the black olive pesto

30ml oil

1 egg white

40g gruyere

40g edam

Place water, skim milk powder, oil and sugar in sauce pan. Warm gently to 30C.

Add yeast to this mix and stir to dissolve. Leave for 10 minutes

Place the other ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour the wet mix into the flour mix and knead until it becomes rough ball.

Flour a flat surface and knead your ball of dough for 25 minutes with 5 minute break in between.

Place in a large, clean well oiled bowl place dough to prove. Cover with cling film. Wait for it to double.

Line and grease a loaf tin.

Roll your dough into a rectangle which is 3 times the width of your loaf pan and slightly shorter than the length. I did this with an ikea pan so it was 6inch by 8inch rectangle.

Roll one edge of the dough inwards, being as tight as possible.

Lift into the prepared tine and cover with cling. Leave to prove for 45 minutes.

Pre heat oven to 220C.

Brush the top of the loaf with a mixture of the eggwhite, black olive pesto and oil.

Top with gruyere cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

After wards place remaining Edam on top and bake for a further 10-20 minutes.

Remove from tin to cool on a wire rack.

'Harsh realities /-/ Black Olive pesto crusted cheese loaf' have 8 comments

  1. October 21, 2013 @ 4:02 pm Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Your bread looks so tasty, I love the crust!


    • October 22, 2013 @ 2:11 pm Belinda Lo

      Sure is Laura! makes for the ultimate cheese toastie!


  2. October 21, 2013 @ 4:05 pm DessertForTwo

    I think your bread is beautiful!

    And I can relate. Grad school nearly killed me. The secret to surviving secondary school is this: go with the flow and take the bullsh*t. Having an upper level degree does not make you smart, it means you tolerated enough bullsh*t to survive the process. Your reward is your degree. And with this degree, you can make more money than someone else who didn’t survive the process. It’s worth it. SO worth it. Sorry, I hope I’m not coming off too preachy. I almost dropped out of grad school and I don’t want you to make the same mistake 🙂

    This bread is all my favorite things: black olives, cheese and piled high 🙂


    • October 22, 2013 @ 2:14 pm Belinda Lo

      Nah I like the wisdom! Thank you for your encouragement!


  3. October 23, 2013 @ 3:24 am Jen @ Savory Simple

    I love this bread! gorgeous.


    • October 24, 2013 @ 9:04 am Belinda Lo

      Thank you Jen!
      I hope you try it, it works wonderfully in an antipasto sandiwch


  4. October 23, 2013 @ 6:48 pm Todd @ HonestlyYUM

    I think your bread is lovely Belinda! “…reminiscent of an adult cheese and bacon bread” is ALL you had to say 🙂


    • October 24, 2013 @ 9:09 am Belinda Lo

      Thank you Todd. I was surprised the cooked black olive pesto come out like that but I did!

      Wonderful to learn something new every time I bake


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