The act of baking bread

There is a  vague feeling of creating ‘food‘ when it comes to making bread. A certain sense of purity validates the large amounts of olive oil and flour that this food requires.

Still not convinced? *Deep sigh* Maybe hearing it from Robert Browning will do the trick, “If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens”.

{Thank you Charis @ CulinaryStorm for this!}

Cooking time: 3 hours (includes 2 hours resting time + 35 mins baking time)

  1. Mix 1 tbsp of active dry yeast in a small bowl and mix 4-5 tbsp warm water (err on the side of cold instead of hot water). Stir well to kill the lumps and leave for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix 400gms of flour, 1tsp salt, some chopped coriander, 2 tsp pepper, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 200ml lukewarm water. Add the yeast mixture. Mix all this together gently until you have a sticky dough.
  3. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and knead the dough for a few minutes until the texture feels right.
  4. Take a clean bowl, grease the inside with oil and put the dough in. Cover the bowl with a damp muslin cloth and leave in a warm place for about 1.5 hours.
  5. The dough should have increased in size now. Place it on a floured surface again and knock the air out of it by kneading. Leave it on the surface, covered with a dry cloth for a few minutes.
  6. Grease a baking tray and place the dough on the tray. Gently push it all over the tray, creating an even layer. Cover the tray with a dry cloth and leave in a warm place for about half an hour for the second rise. Make sure the layer isn’t too thick, as it won’t allow the bottom layer of the bread to crust. Whatever baking mould you are using, make sure the layer is about 2 inches.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200º C. Arrange the coriander leaves, sprinkle some chopped garlic pieces and some olives over. Poke dimples in the dough with your finger, and then spoon about 5-6 tbsps of olive  oil all over the dough. Finish with a scatter of salt.
  8. Place in the upper shelf of the oven for about 30-35 minutes. Remove, cool and EAT!

Warning: Yeast stinks!

Work out time!

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