If you are as much into savoury breads as I am, you’ll definitely love this simple, yet sophisticated-looking braided bread; though it’s really just a twisted bread, come to think about it…
Besides the excellent smell, what’s maybe best about this bread is its very short and commonplace list of ingredients, so you can spontaneously decide to make it, AND the fact that it’s finished within less than two hours, so no need to plan a day ahead, either!
Grab the following things:
- a cube of fresh yeast
- about 175 ml of good olive oil
- some (not too little) sea salt
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 1 kg of white flour (wheat and spelt both work fine)
- (at least!) 4 fresh garlic cloves
- fresh (or dried) rosemary
- about 70 g of grated cheese
The process is very much straightforward and uncomplicated, as long as you don’t mind greasy fingers 😉
Dissolve the yeast in about 600 ml of warm water, add 80 ml of olive oil, the salt and honey and mix well.
Put the flour in a large-enough bowl, pour the liquid and mix until it’s a dough. Then knead with your hands for about 10 minutes so the dough is truly supple.
Let rest for about 45 minutes.
Use the break to prepare the rosemary and garlic by cutting both finely, then mixing them with about 4 tbsp of olive oil.
When your 45 minutes are almost up, pre-heat you oven to about 220 °C.
Knead the dough once more and cut into four equal portions. Form long ropes, press them flat.
Spread the olive-herbs-mix on top, then fold in half and twist. Press the ends together well, and place on a baking tray lined with paper.
Finally, brush the top with the remaining oil and sprinkle some grated cheese on.
Bake for about 20 minutes.
This bread is excellent for having with antipasti or dips, or as a basis for Mediterranean style supper, where you just freely tear off bits and pieces and eat it fresh with butter, salad or some cheese.
It’s less suited to be used for the common sandwich style breakfast, though, because it does have a distinct and strong flavour of its own (obviously) and cannot easily be cut into handy slices…