My Favourite Breads
I keep on hoping that I’ll get back to my usual routine of cooking and posting at least three times a week, but I guess it’s not as easy as I thought. I need a posting buddy…or just somebody to prod me every time I procrastinate. If you have an extra sharp object and you live near Ontario, please I wouldn’t mind a prod every two to three days.
I made this bread last November. It was so tasty we just polished it off in one sitting. It was meant to accompany some soup but I doubt if the soup was ever accompanied. I just slathered chunks of butter and spent the afternoon nibbling and worrying about the extra calories. It’s best served warm, so should it cool down you could just pop it into the microwave for a few seconds.
I have a few friends who don’t like olives, my daughter inclusive. I have never understood why one wouldn’t like olives because they are one of my favourite snacks. Try serving some the next time you have a meeting. They are certainly better than calorie filled sweets or chocolate and anyway you can only eat so many olives in one sitting. If you are not an olive fan you can substitute the filling with any other ingredients you prefer, but make sure you add some cheese. There’s nothing better than melted, gooey cheese oozing out of freshly baked homemade bread.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) 15 minutes before baking bread. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin (pan) with oil or cooking spray. Sift the flour, yeast, pepper, salt and sugar into a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
Roll into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, scatter the olives, feta and oregano lengthways over half the dough, leaving a half-inch border around the edges. Drizzle the olive oil over the filling
Feta and Olive Pull-Apart Bread
Preparation: 30 minutes + 1½ hours standing time; Baking Time: 35-45 minutes; Makes: 10 pieces
- 450g all-purpose (plain) flour (1Ib, 3 cups Australian; 3½ cups US)
- 1½ teaspoons instant yeast (Fleischmann’s)
- ½-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾-1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon castor sugar
- 150ml (⅔ cups) warm milk
- 180ml (⅔ cups + 2 tablespoons) warm water
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pitted olives
- 150g Feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons finely shredded oregano (or 1½ teaspoons dried oregano)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) 15 minutes before baking bread. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin (pan) with oil or cooking spray.
- Sift the flour, yeast, pepper, salt and sugar into a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
- Add the water and milk and mix to a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and free from cracks. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for 50-60 minutes or until doubled in size. (if the dough is too stiff add 1-2 tablespoons more water)
- Knock back the dough, sprinkle with flour, cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, scatter the olives, feta and oregano lengthways over half the dough, leaving a half-inch border around the edges. Drizzle the olive oil over the filling
- Fold the dough over the filling and seal the edges with your fingertips. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough, width ways into 10 slices. Roll up each dough tightly, lengthways and carefully place in the pan, cut side down.
- Using your hands, press down on the surface of the dough to make it even. Cover with a large polythene bag and set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour until well risen to the top of the pan (tin).
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden. When cooked the loaf will sound hollow if tapped on the base. Pull-apart and enjoy. This bread is best served warm.
- For cup measures: spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. I use American 240ml cup.
Points to note:
- Please note that oven temperaturesare given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperatures depending on your oven. I baked the bread at 375°F (190°C) for 35 minutes.
- I always weigh ingredients, especially the flour and butter. You can use cup measures, but please note if you scoop flour directly from the bag you will end up with 150-185 g of flour instead of the recommended 125g. I suggest you spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. You can also sift the flour firstthen scoop. My best advice: please use a weighing scale.
- Variations: ¼ cup pesto, ½ cup sun-dried tomato and about 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese.