I wanted to try to create a fragrant and Mediterranean style bread, to achieve this I have decided to use sun-dried tomatoes and chopped black olives in bread. The end result is a moist savory bread with an intense hit of flavour. The bread would work perfectly with sandwiches but I think that it is to be best served on an Antipasto platter.
Additionally I have decided to use a large amount of oil in this to see how it would effect the dough, it resulted in I feel the dough become more moist on the inside and slightly crumblier on the crust. I also found that it seem to enhance the flavour.
This recipe requires some kneading and you will need to be careful that the chopped ingredients don't fall out when you start.
Still interested ?
500g of Strong Bread Flour
100ml of Oil (drained from the sundried tomatoes)
200ml of Warm Water
1 sachet of fast acting Yeast
180g of Chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes
90g of Chopped Black Olives
1 Small hand full of corsely chopped Rosemary 1Tbsp of Sea Salt for crust and dough
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Step 1: Prepping Ingredients
As always its best to get your ingredients prepped before you start it makes the cooking process a lot simpler and quicker. In this example I have decided to get the rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives chopped first.
Picture 1. Full ingredients photo.
Picture 2. chop the rosemary in to small pieces
Picture 3. Drain the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and reserve it, you will need to add it to your dough later.
Picture 4. chop the 180g of Sun-dried to tomatoes in to medium sized pieces.
Picture 5. Chop the 90g of Black olives in to small peices
Step 2: Dry Mixing.
Its important to mix the dry ingredients first so that later on you don't get lumps of unmixed yeast in your dough.
Picture 1. In a large bowl add 500g of Bread Flour
Picture 2. Next add a small amount of sugar and one sachet of yeast.
Picture 3. Finally add the salt.
Picture 4. Combine all of these dry ingredients with a whisk.
Picture 5. After the dry ingredients have been combined its time to start adding the additional ingredients first add the Chopped Black olives
Picture 6. Next add the Chopped Sun-Dried tomatoes
Picture 7. Lastly add half of the chopped rosemary the rest will be sprinkled on the top as a garnish.
Step 3: Wet Mixing
Wet Mixing is where you initially add the liquid to your dough and bring it together, its just before the kneading process.
Picture 1. Add the Oil from the sun-dried tomatoes first.
Picture 2. Having mixed the oil in add 200ml of warm water to the dough and combine.
Picture 3. Once the dough has been brought together its time to knead it, but you will need to do this on a hard floured surface.
Step 4: Kneeding
Kneading is the process of working the gluten in the flour to form a strong and elastic dough, if your don't work the gluten enough you will end up with you will end up with something similar in texture to cake.
Picture 1. you will need a large clean and well floured hard surface to knead your dough.
Picture 2. Working the dough is a labour intensive process you can use a mixer if you have one otherwise you will need to knead for around 10 minutes or until the dough becomes soft and elastic on the outside.
Step 5: Garnishing & Proofing
You will need to proof your dough in a warm place for around 2 hours. Additional you will need to cover the dough so that the skin doesn't dry out.
Picture 1. pour a small amount of oil in to the bottom of a bread dish.
Picture 2. place the dough in the bread dish, then press down once the dough covers the bottom flip the dough upside down so the newly oiled side of the bread is now facing upwards.
Picture 3. Score the surface, this will give you the distinctive ridges of bread and allow some of the steam to escape.
Picture 4. Next garnish with sea salt crystals and the rest of the rosemary.
Picture 5. This now needs to rest for around 2 hours this is also called the proofing and it allows it time to rise before it goes in the oven.
Step 6: Baking
I like to leave a dish of water in the oven this generates steam which will help you get a better crust on top of the bread, however this is entirely optionally, but if you do decide to go down with this option make sure that you put it in the oven before your bread otherwise it will significantly lower the temperature of the oven.
Picture 1. this is what your bread should look like after 2 hours proofing, this bread is ready to go in the oven. a good rule of thumb for proofing is that you want to allow the dough to double in size.
Picture 2. Next place it in the oven for 30 minutes, at the temperatures below.
220C/fan 200C/gas 7
Step 7: Thank You for Reading.
I would suggest you eat this wonderful bread after it has been left to cool with lashings of salted butter and an assortment of other Mediterranean inspired Antipasto items, cured meats, anchovies, olives, cheeses. of course with a generous helping of red wine.
Thank you for reading , if you have any comments or queries please contact me and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.