When thinking about delicious sandwiches, including the bread in the overall sense of the desired taste rather than just using plain boring bread can lead to amazing results. We are currently experimenting with savoury and sometimes very spicy bread types. This is a very simple bread which works well with e.g. most cheeses, egg salad and some types of pâté. Anybody, who has ever baked a bread, can make this with excellent results.
26 g fresh yeast (or 7g dry)
500g strong white flour, e.g. Shipton Mill Organic Strong White Flour (701)
7 g salt
3.5 g sugar, just some ordinary demarera or whatever
30 ml olive oil, Castillo de Canera Extra Virgin Early Harvest from Picual olives for example. It must be a good quality oil, whatever you like.
310 ml tepid water
Pitted and chopped Kalamata olives (again, taste is important so use e.g. Tesco's Finest or a good Waitrose brand)
Dissolve the yeast in the water (I always make a bit extra to throw away and add the water/yeast mixture until the dough is right)
Stick the rest of the ingredients minus the olives into the mixing bowl of a suitable kitchen machine with a dough hook. (I use a 7 litre Kenwood Titanium Major KMM020). Add the water and start mixing at a fairly low speed. Start a timer. You will see the dough quickly form up on the hook - add additional water if needed. Mix at a fairly low speed for 10 mins - you will see the usual protein string process developing.
After 10 mins of mixing you should have a nice and stretchy, non-sticky dough. Remove the mixing bowl from the machine, cover it and leave the dough to prove for 1 hour or so at room temperature, until the size has more or less doubled.
Pit and chop the olives in case you have not done so already.
Tip the dough out onto an oiled surface or a silicone baking mat. Flatten it, spread it out with your hands (no need to roll it out), place the olives inside and fold them in over a couple of times so that you get them nicely distributed. Push some of the air out of the dough during this process - we want quite small air pores in the finished bread. Shape up the bread on a silicone mat on a baking sheet, cover with oiled cling film and allow to prove for 30 minutes. Slash the top a few times with a sharp knife.
Meanwhile heat an oven to gas mark 8, 225 C or thereabouts.
Put the bread in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. You should now have a middle-dark surface with a good crust - the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the top. If not, bake for another five minutes.
When the top is good, take the bread out and turn it upside down. Tap the bottom - if crisp and sounding hollow the bread is done. If not, put it back into the oven upside down and bake it for another five minutes. Repeat the process as required. Depending on your oven the total baking time can get up to 35 minutes.
Place on a wire rack and let cool for at least half an hour before cutting (tie up any lose children for the duration).
Added by: Niels Bjergstrom
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