Monday, 2 November 2009

Olive Bread

A very moist, delicious olive bread. Eaten with pasta or an accompaniment to roasted Mediterranean vegetables, perfect on its own without butter, but particularly nice spread with warm goats cheese and chutney.

15g dried yeast (not the easy blend kind)
2 tsp salt
500g strong white flour
5tbsp extra virgin olive oil
12 Calamata olives, stoned and quartered

Dissolve the yeast in 300ml lukewarm warm water. Mix the salt with the flour, make a well in the centre and add the yeasty water and 4 tbsp of the olive oil. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5-10 minutes. This can also be done in a food processor. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a large polythene bag and leave in a warm place until more than doubled in size.

Knock the dough down and knead again, this time adding the olives. Shape the dough into a flattish circle about 12" in diameter and leave to rise again.

Place a baking tray in the oven and preheat to c00C/400F/gas 6

Dimple the surface of the dough with your finger and drizzle the remaining olive oil over it.

Carefully place the dough on the hot tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until deep golden brown.

Cool the bread on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. If you prefer it hot : reheat in a hot oven for 10 minutes.

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