- Serves: Makes 2 loaves (approx 20cm in diameter)
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Prep Time: 30 minutes plus rising
- Effort: easy
- 500 g strong bread flour, ideally Italian Tipo 2
- 1 sachet fast action dried yeast
- 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
- 1⁄2 tsp caster sugar
- 300 ml olive oil
- 300 ml tepid water
- 2 large sprigs of rosemary
- 60 g pitted black olives, chopped
- flakes sea salt, for sprinkling
1. The easiest way to make this bread is in an electric mixer with a dough hook, or in a strong food processor. Sift the flour, yeast, 1/2 tsp sea salt and sugar into the mixer or food processor bowl. Alternatively, sift the flour, yeast, sea salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Gradually mix in the water until a soft but not too sticky dough forms, with the machine running on a slow speed or using your hands if making by hand. You may not need all the water, or you may need extra, so add with care. If using an electric mixer continue to beat for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic or knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with cling film, allowing room for expansion. Leave to rise (prove) in a warm place (such as an airing cupboard or near
a central-heating boiler) until doubled in size. This can take 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, depending on how warm it is.
4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil gently in a small saucepan and add the rosemary. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to allow the flavour to infuse.
5. Knock back the risen dough by punching it down with your fist and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Divide in half and shape into 2 rounds about 1.5cm thick.
6. Place each round on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover loosely with cling film. Leave to prove for about 20-30 minutes until doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
7. Make small indentations with your fingers all over the surface of each loaf. Brush with the rosemary oil, scatter over the olives and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
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