THIS RECIPE IS FROM CRUMB: THE BAKING BOOK by RUBY TANDOH
A glug of olive oil here is the secret to a rich, tender loaf. Orange and olive might not be an obvious pairing but they strike a delicate balance, an echo of citrus playing off the punchy saltiness of the olives. Though I’m loath to descend into food snobbery, it has to be said: the quality of the olives really is paramount. Olive bread made with rubbery, briny cheap olives really won’t be the same. That said, olive bread is arguably — like pizza — good even when it’s bad.
Makes one medium crown loaf, serving 5
350g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
1½ teaspoons instant dried yeast
¾ teaspoon salt
60ml olive oil
175ml cool water
Zest of 1 orange
100g Kalamata olives, chopped and patted dry
1 Combine the flour and yeast in a large bowl then stir in the salt. Add the oil, water and orange zest and mix roughly to combine. Knead the dough. It’ll be wet and uncooperative to start with but the high oil content should stop it from sticking too much. Persevere until it is elastic and no longer sticky — this will take about 10 minutes. Knead in the chopped olives and set the dough in a large, covered bowl to rise at room temperature for 1½–2 hours, or until doubled in size.
2 On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 5 pieces and roll each into an oval shape — a little like a rugby ball. Arrange the portions in a circle shape on a large baking tray, each piece of dough very close to, but not quite touching, its neighbours (they will swell and join as they rise and bake). Leave to prove for 40–50 minutes at room temperature — it ought to almost double in size. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7.
3 Dust the risen dough with flour, score lightly along the length of each oval of dough and bake for 10 minutes before reducing the temperature to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas mark 6 and baking for a further 25 minutes.