This week I've started to bake for my upcoming engagement party. It's not for a few weeks but me and my mama are doing the catering ourselves and there is no way we will be able to make enough food for 70 people on the day of the party- so I decided to start making some of the breads and quiches and popping them in the freezer to be put back in the oven on the day.
Today I whipped up a few loafs of my fail safe olive and thyme bread. It's super easy and really delicious on it's own or dipped in to olive oil and balsamic vinegar served with antipasti! Find the recipe below!
Here's the recipe (slightly adapted from this book), enjoy!:
- 200g strong white bread flour- 75g strong seeded wholemeal bread flour- 7g sachet fast action dried yeast- Sprinkle of sea salt- 200ml luke warm water- Around 70g green olives- A small bunch of fresh thyme
Start by combining the two bread flours, the yeast and the salt in a large bowl.
Make a well in the middle and add the water. Either form the dough using your hands or pop it in a mixer with a dough attachment. Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand or for 4 minutes on a slow speed with a dough hook.
Put the dough in a large bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
When it has risen, punch the dough down and turn it out on to a well floured work surface. Gently press the dough out to form a rectangle approx 40cm X 20cm.
Arrange the olives down the middle third of the dough. You can use as many or as little olives as you like, but try and stick to a single layer. If your olives come in liquid make sure they are well drained before placing them on the dough to avoid any sogginess.
Fold the outer thirds of the dough in on to the middle one to envelope the olives (see photo for help with this!) and pinch the ends to seal. Turn the dough over and cover with a damp tea towel or cling film.
Leave for a further 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Towards the end of the rising period, preheat your oven to gas mark 8/230c/450f and place one baking tin at the very bottom of the oven (I'll explain this tip...) and another big enough to transfer your bread on to in the middle of the oven to heat up.
When your dough is risen, place it on grease proof paper on the pre heated tray and pop it in the oven.
A tip for a crunchy crust: put a baking tin at the bottom of your oven to heat up. When you place your bread in the oven, throw a cup of cold water into the tin at the bottom and shut the door super quick. The steam helps the crust to form!
I hope you find this recipe as easy and impressive as I do!