Pine Nut Olive Oil Bread

July 01, 2010

- by Chef Barb, Figueroa Farms
As the air gets crisp and pine cones begin to fall, it reminds us that buried deep in the hard-edged flower of the pine tree lays a little nugget of buttery, nutty flavor – the pine nut. Traditionally used by Italians to bake into those wonderful pine-nutty cookies, our own Chef Barb created an equally flavorful, but infinitely easier way to imbibe your cooking with both the rich flavor of pine nuts and the tang of Riesling. Lots of olive oil keeps this special savory tea bread moist for days. Best of all, you can use any of The Olive Oil Source's medium to strong extra virgin olive oil in this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup pinenuts
1/4 cup fresh lemon thyme leaves (or regular thyme), chopped finely
1 lemon, zested (about 1 tablespoon)
2 eggs
3/4 cup Riesling wine (or sweet Vermouth, or apple juice)
1/2 cup The Olive Oil Source medium to strong extra virgin olive oil

In a dry sauté pan over medium to low heat, toast the pinenuts. Watch them closely as they burn easily. Set aside to cool slightly.

Using a microplane zester, zest the lemon. Try to zest only the yellow part of the peel; the white membrane is very bitter.

Remove thyme leaves from their stems. Discard stems and chop up the leaves.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with olive oil cooking spray.

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, thyme, lemon zest, and toasted pinenuts.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, wine, and olive oil. Stir into the dry ingredients.

Put the dough into the prepared loaf pan, and flatten the surface to make the top level.

Bake 55 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on a rack.

Great with soup or cheese. Also great as toast for breakfast.