Friday, 27 March 2015

Herby olive bread

Homemade bread making, is rather therapeutic and a perfect escapism from all stress. This is a perfect way of using up your herbs and you can tailor this recipe by using seeds, wholewheat flour and different herbs. In this instance I used thyme, chives and Greek basil. Try using rosemary, sage or tarragon if you wish. Recipes are meant to inspire, so get your creative juices flowing and crest different flavours.

500g of plain all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of dry yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil
125ml of warm water 
30g of chopped thyme 
30g of chopped chives
30g of chopped Greek basil
2 teaspoons of fennel seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon of nigella seeds (optional)


In a cup mix the dry yeast, sugar and warm water together. 
Leave in a warm place for about 10-15 minutes until it froths.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixer or a bowl.

Add your chopped Greek basil, Chives and thyme 
Attach the mixer bowl and bread hook to your mixer. Gently add the yeast mix, olive oil on a medium speed. Add 250ml of warm water and mix for about 7-9 minutes on a high speed. 

If you're not using a mixer, make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yeast mix and olive oil.  Add 250ml of warm water and knead the bread for about 10-12 minutes on a floured surface.

The bread dough will be very soft.  Add a little flour to the surface and roll into a ball and leave in a bowl. 
If using a mixer bowl, just leave the bread dough in it, cover with a clean, damp, warm kitchen towel and place in a warm place for about 1-2hrs till the dough has proofed. 
The dough should double up in size.
Grease a bread tin (6 x 10.5 x 21cm) with butter
Preheat your oven to 210*c
On a floured surface punch the air out of the dough and knead for a further 5 minutes.
Mould your bread dough and place it in your grease bread tin. Sprinkle both the nigella and fennel seeds over the bread (this is optional).
Cover with an oiled cling film or warm damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise. 
Leave it to rise for about 35-50 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen, place it in the middle of your preheated oven. 
Add about 500ml of water to your bottom tray. I prefer to bake my bread this way as it forms a perfect crust and moist bread.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until brown. When you tap the bread it should give a hollow sound, which indicates it's ready. 
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for about 5 minutes. Turn your bread unto a board, with a gentle tap to the bottom of the bread tin(use a glove to protect your hands). Serve with balsamic and olive oil mix or goats butter. 

All photos are by the owner of this blog