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Smoky Onion and Olive beer bread – The perfect partner for a heartwarming soup!

Posted on June 13, 2013 by in baked goods

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Smoky was the at the top of the Hit Parade with their song Oh Carol in my last year at varsity. That song played at each and every sokkie ( the rave of those days) and the wall flowers ( the girls who where not on the dance floor) sat waiting to be picked as a dance partner while the lucky ones showed off their moves to the tune of ” your hips were swaying and your jeans where glinging”!

Smoky can of course also refer to my daughter’s make-up when  I ask her very cautiously if the make-up is not too dark.  “Ag mom, it’s smokey”. Never had smokey eyes in my life, well maybe except this morning when I tried to smoke the onions and olives, but that is a whole different kind of smoky.

Of late, I love a smokey flavor in my food, whether I am making Rolled Beef Brisket or Moroccan Carrot soup, the odd teaspoon of Smoked paprika always ends in there somewhere. I’m not sure why I have this craving, maybe because I love  a good braai and with our cold weather, we tend to stick to soups and stews and the old body is feeling a little deprived. However when I woke up this morning  I had this idea to smoke onions and olives to use in a beer bread. So after my RSG gig, I arrived home with a mind full of plans and only two hours before I had to go on duty with Mom’s taxi! Just as the smoker with the onions and olives started to smell, hubby arrived home and walked in on the “smell from hell”!  My answer to his question was also not a good one… “I’m smoking onions and olives!”  I promise you it smelled like I was smoking boom (dagga). So, I had little hope for my experiment, but wow, when I removed the onions and olives and tested them, it was so divine! I was so proud of myself and of course kneading the smoky flavor into a bread, was just the ultimate!


Well my experiment worked and we had  our delicious Smoky Onion and Olive Beer Bread with a bowl full of creamy mushroom soup, yip and you’ve guessed it, there is a pinch of smoked paprika in there too!

First you have to smoke the onion and olives. There are two methods, you choose!

Method #1

Find a round wire rack that fits into a big pot with a tight fitting lid. Place the content of 4 teabags ( or wood shavings) in the bottom of the pot. Place your  peeled onion wedges and olives on a plate and onto the wire rack (cake rack). Place the lid on and put the pot on the normal or gas stove.  Put the heat on its highest. Move the lid slightly to see if there is smoke and if there is,  put the timer on 5 minutes. After 5 minutes your onions and olives will have a subtle but delicious  smoky flavor.

Method #2

Use a small smoker and  smoke the onions and olives  as you would do with meat or fish, just 5 minutes.


Smoky Onion and Olive Beer Bread

makes 2 large loaves


2 large onions – peeled, cut in quarters and smoked

200 ml Olyfberg olives – pitted and smoked

40 ml Olyfberg olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

5 ml sugar

1 kg self raising flour

5 ml baking soda

5 ml salt

5 ml Herbs de Province ( or dry thyme or oregano)

about 750 ml beer

30 ml olive oil



First smoke  the onions and olives as per the above instructions. Once the onions are smoked, heat the olive oil in a pan and caramelize the onions. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as the sugar to  help with the caramelizing process. Cool the onion and olives.

Place the four, salt and herbs in a big mixing bowl and add the beer gradually while mixing by hand until you have a workable dough. Add the  oil as well as the onions and olives and knead lightly. Shape the dough into two loaves and place on a baking tray that you have sprayed with Spray ‘n Cook. Allow to rise fro about  15 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and when the oven is hot, bake the breads for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the bread. Serve with more  farm-fresh butter and  olive tapenade!



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7 Responses to “Smoky Onion and Olive beer bread – The perfect partner for a heartwarming soup!”

  1. Tokeloshe 14 June 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Great post! What a great idea, I can’t wait to try it.
    Beautiful photos as always.
    I love your blog 😉

    • nerinatimm 23 June 2013 at 9:25 am #

      Thank you so much and thank you for the visit!

  2. Zirkie 19 June 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    Sjoe, Nina! Jy het altyd die wonderlikste idees!! Dit klink heerlik!

    • nerinatimm 23 June 2013 at 9:25 am #

      Dankie Zirks, dit was so heerlik saam met ‘n soppie!

  3. Ann Sotillo 12 August 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Love the recipes!!! I live in Spain and make paella quite often but have to admit to also often making “rice with stuff” which is just as delicious!!!

  4. Barbara Clulow 13 July 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Where can I buy smoked paprika???


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