Splash out on special olives to make this bread memorable. Try some with a hint of garlic, herbs or chilli for even more pizazz.
- 500g (1lb 2oz) very strong white bread flour
- 11/2tsp salt
- 1tbsp unrefined Golden Caster sugar
- 175g (6oz) mixed pitted olives, drained from olive oil, roughly chopped
- 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 350ml (12fl oz) warm water
- 1tbsp mini sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)
- Coarse sea salt to sprinkle
Put the white bread flour into a large bowl. Add the salt, golden caster sugar and olives.
Pour in the olive oil and the warm water. Mix together to combine.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and stretch and knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Shape and roll into a rectangle. Put into a greased 17cm x 27.5cm (7 x 11inch) rectangular tin. Press lots of indentations into the top of the bread with your finger. Scatter over a few extra herbs, drizzle with some of the olive oil from the olives and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Cover loosely with cling flim. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size. (This will take about 30-40 minutes.)
Preheat the oven to 220°C/ fan 200°C/ gas 7. Remove cling film from bread and reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/ fan 180°C/ gas
Bake the bread for 35 minutes until golden. To test to see if the loaf is ready, upturn and tap the base ? it should sound hollow. Sprinkle on the fresh rosemary or thyme if desired.