A simple recipe for a great summer bread, perfect for sharing at family picnics and barbecues with friends. Almost a meal in itself and delicious dipped in flavoured oil.
Makes one loaf
500g strong white bread flour
10g quick action dried yeast
380-400ml lukewarm water
60-70ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
Handful of new potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
Pinch sea salt
Measure the bread flour, salt and yeast into a large bowl, and combine with your hands. Slowly add the lukewarm water, and mix together to form a sticky dough, using the dough hook fitting on a stand mixer, if you have one. Continue to knead for around 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough has become more elastic and starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil to a square plastic bowl, and coat the sides to ensure the dough doesn’t stick. Transfer the dough into the box and spread it very slightly. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave it in a warm place to prove until doubled in size. This can take between one and three hours, depending on the temperature.
Add a good amount of olive oil to a nice big baking tray, making sure that all the surfaces are coated so that the bread doesn’t stick as it’s baking. Remove the proved dough from the bowl and spread the dough out into the corners of the baking tray. Prove the dough for another hour in the tray, until it has again doubled in size.
Rub some oil on your hands, and press the sliced onion into the top of the dough, making holes to let the air get into the bread. Add the sliced potato as evenly as possible, brushing a little more oil on top to prevent them burning in the oven. Finish with a good pinch of sea salt.
Heat your oven to 220c (200c fan). If your oven has a steamer, turn it on, but if not, add another baking tray containing some water, underneath the tray containing the dough, to form steam.
Bake for 25 minutes, until the bread is coming away from the sides of the tray. Leave to cool for a few minutes before cutting.
You can add your own flavours to the basic dough, try experimenting with rosemary or olives, or chopped red or green chillies.