Green Olive and Thyme Bread

This is a modified recipe for a flat bread for lunches and cheese that is derived from one given by Dan Lepard in his book “The Handmade Loaf – Contemporary European recipes for the Home Baker”. It is a hybrid bread that uses both yeast and a portion of sourdough as rising agent but it would work equally well using just or the other levure.

  • 250g white bread flour (don’t even think of using wholemeal!)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 150g water (slightly warmed)
  • A half cup of sourdough starter
  • A sachet of yeast
  • 25 g olive oil
  • 100 g pitted green olives
  • 1 tsp thyme

Note that the dough for this is a rather wet and oily one – it’s supposed to be like that.

Mix the water, sourdough, yeast, olives, olive oil and thyme and whisk together – leave to stand for 10 minutes or so.

Add the salt to the flower and then pour in the wet ingredients. Mix and stir (a mixer with a dough-hook helps) and then leave to stand for 10 minutes.

Tip out onto a lightly oiled surface (I use a plastic cutting board) and knead gently for a couple of minutes. Leave for 10 minutes. Repeat this twice more at ten minute intervals then put in a bowl and allow to rise, covered, for an hour. If you find the dough sticking to your hands put some oil on them – do not add more flour.

Get yourself a flat oven tray with raised sides and oil it or cover with baling parchment … Better is to take a flexible silicon baking sheet. Put the dough on it and flatten it gently into an oblong with your hands – fold it over twice to make about three layers and reshape the flat dough. The surface is very oily so gently lay a piece of cling-film (that’s saran wrap in Canada) and cover with a towel. Allow to rise slowly for a couple of hours.

Bake at 400degF for 30-35 minutes.