Friday, 10 May 2013

Olive bread (and the best ever bacon sarnies!)

I've been meaning to post about my olive bread for some time but we keep eating it before I can take a photo of the finished product!
This is the 'nuddy end' of the last one I made - and our dog, Angel, showing a great interest!

The reason this bread disappears so quickly is that it makes such delicious bacon sarnies. Warm bread, drippy butter, sauce or mayo and hot bacon - mmmmm -it's a heavenly (if not healthy) combination!
You can, of course, use yours in any way you see fit. This is a very forgiving and adaptable recipe.


450g/1lb strong white bread flour, plus more for dusting
half tsp caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt
half tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing
half tbsp/1 sachet of instant yeast (I've used 7g sachets in the past, use what you have)
approx. 300mls/half pint hand-warm water


Add all the ingredients to the bowl, mix well with a knife and then knead until smooth and elastic.

This can be done for 6 mins in a food processor using the dough hook, or by hand for as long as you can be bothered. As my food processor has now blown up I hand knead - and don't last for much longer than 6 mins anyway before I get tired/bored!
Put into a bowl large enough for the dough to treble in size. Brush the dough with olive oil and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave in a cool place to rise for approx. 2 hours. 

Now for my favourite bit! 'Knock down' the dough by punching it in the middle.

Take the moist, sticky dough from the bowl and knead for a minute. Push and stretch the dough to fill a swiss roll tin. I stretch it initially by holding it up and letting its weight do the work a bit like a pizza.

You can press your finger tips into the dough to dimple it then brush again with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Leave to prove for a further hour before baking in a pre-heated oven at 240C/465F/gas8-9
For some reason my oven cuts out at this temp. so I actually bake mine at 200C (fan oven)
and it's fine.
Adapt your recipe by using onions, cheese, olives, herbs etc. on top. I'm sure this would make great pizza dough too, although I really would recommend those bacon sarnies!!

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