This freshly baked ‘tear and share’ bread is delicious when dipped in extra-virgin olive oil as an easy starter or with lunch.
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- For the base:
- 500g (1lb) strong, plain white flour
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 level tbsp caster sugar
- 1 level tsp fine salt
- 2tbsp virgin olive oil
- For the topping:
- 10 mini mozzarella balls (½ x 150g packet,drained)
- 70g packet pitted olives, black, greenor mixed, halved
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil,drained and sliced
- 1tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1-2tbsp virgin olive oil, or oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 level tbsp coarse rock salt
- Baking sheet, buttered
To make the base: Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the yeast, sugar and salt. Add the olive oil to 300ml (½ pint) warm water and pour it into the flour. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. Knead dough for 8-10 mins, until it’s smooth and elastic.
Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 30 x 20cm (12 x 8in)and place it on the baking sheet. Cover the dough with a tea towel or with oiled cling film and leave it in a warm place for 45 mins, or until it has doubled insize.
Use the tips of your fingers to firmly press through the dough, to create dimples in the surface. Scatter over the mozzarella balls, olives, sun-dried tomato, rosemary and salt. Press the ingredients lightly into the dough. Cover dough and leave it for a further 5-10 mins.
Set the oven to gas mark 7 or 220°C.
Drizzle over olive oil. Bake loaf in the centre of the oven for 15 mins, and then turn the temperature down to gas mark 4 or 180°C and cook for 15-20 mins, or until the loaf is an even, golden colour and sounds hollow when tapped on its base. If the topping starts to brown too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil or baking parchment.
Slide the loaf on to a wire rack. Serve the loaf warm or cold. Not suitable for freezing.