Bake With The Bake Off - Bread Week
Bread week. It can break even the most seasoned of bakers, but it's my favorite week of the Bake Off. Granted, I don't have Paul and Pru glaring over my shoulder while I guess whether or not my dough has proofed long enough. It's always the most inspiring for me, especially with the change in weather.
This year's bread week was kicked off by an Irish Soda Bread signature challenge, and Sura brought a flavor combination inspired by her Middle Eastern heritage that impressed the judges and inspired me. Za'atar and olives may not be traditional to soda bread, but it sounded so delicious I had to recreate it at home. Conveniently, we just received a shipment of Moroccan Za'atar and Picholine Olives from Villa Jerada.
Villa Jerada was started by Mehdi Boujrada, a Moroccan immigrant who moved to Seattle but missed the flavors of home. When Mehdi started his company in Seattle, his mother flew out from Morocco to help him work out the recipes. Together, they sourced ingredients both stateside and imported that could replicate the flavors of home. His sauces and spice blends are made in Seattle but using traditional Moroccan ingredients and flavors.
Villa Jerada's Picholine Olives are mild, not overly brined, and tender. The combination with Za'atar in this soda bread recipe delivers an exceptionally savory punch. I served my soda bread with a compound butter made from Villa Jerada's Chermoula Spread.
- Marguerite Jodry