Home for a couple of days. As I drove into the village yesterday, this was the view that greeted me.
Quite a welcome. And that was nothing in comparison to the welcome I got from my beloved pup, Marco. Think he missed me as much as I missed him. Treated him to sunny walk and a swim in the firth. Two of his favourite things.
Then we got home and I did one of my favourite things. Made bread.
(Makes one big loaf)
300ml warm water
1 tspn dry active yeast
400g strong white flour
1 tspn salt
Big handful of black olives (approx. 20), chopped roughly
1 tspn dried oregano
Fine ground cornmeal
- Add the yeast to the warm water and set aside until the yeast foams a little (around 10 mins).
- In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt, olives and oregano. Add the yeasty water and stir to create a wet dough. Leave for 5 mins.
- Smear a little olive oil onto your work surface and plop the dough out onto it. Knead for a couple of minutes. (You might need to add a tiny bit more flour if the dough is really too sticky to do anything with but don’t add much. I just dip my hands in flour a couple of times if need be.)
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a teatowel. Leave in a warm (not too hot!) place for 30 mins until doubled in sized.
- Knead the dough for a couple of minutes again and place back in the bowl for another 30mins.
- Final stage. Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust with cornmeal (or more flour if you don’t have cornmeal). Place dough onto work surface and pull into a flattish rectangular shape. Roll dough up lengthways and tuck the ends underneath. Place seam side down and cover with the tea towel again. Leave to double in size in the same warm place.
- Meanwhile, heat your oven to 210 oC (or 200 oC if fan assisted). When oven reaches the right temperature place a cake tin of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Leave for 10 mins to let the oven get steamy.
- Dust the risen dough with cornmeal and use a knife to make 3 slits across the top of the loaf. Place in the oven and bake for 40 mins until golden.
- Leave to cool on a rack before eating.