I’ve been reminding myself since I have arrived in the UK: there’s such a huge oven here in the apartment, how can I do it such injustice?
So here it is, something that I’ve put off baking for many years now – an Italian breed that tested my patience. After rounds of rising, proofing and baking, it’s ‘proofen’ to be a worthwhile attempt after all. 🙂
- Fast-acting dried yeast: 1 sachet ( 7g, about 3 tsp)
- Warm water: 1 cup (leave boiling water to cool for about 45min – 1 hr)
- Olive oil: 1 tbsp + extra for drizzling
- Strong white flour: 3 cups
- Salt: 2 tsp + 1 tsp
- Sugar: 1 tbsp
- Ground black pepper: 1 tsp
- Chilli powder: 1 tsp
- Sun-dried tomatoes: 1/2 small bottle (about 100g)
- Rosemary: leaves from 2 sprigs
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and leave to sit for 10min. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to it.
- Mix flour, 2 tsp salt, sugar and pepper together in a mixing bowl.
- Stir in yeast mixture with wooden spoon. Then use a hand to form it into a ball.
- Transfer dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead and punch for 10min.
- The dough should become springy and the hand clean of sticky dough.
- Place in a greased container, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hr in a warm place.
- Remove film and punch dough with knuckle.
- Line a baking tray with greased baking sheet. Stretch dough out onto baking sheet in desired shape (rectangular, circular).
- Use fingers to form dimples on surface. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, chilli powder, tomato and rosemary.
- Drizzle olive oil on surface. Cover with cling film again. Leave to proof in a warm place for 30min until doubled in size.
- Remove film and use fingers to make clear impressions on surface.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25min at 180 degrees, until golden brown.
- Serve plain while hot or with vinegar and extra virgin olive oil when cooled.
- To let the dough rise/proof, leave the dough inside an oven at 45 – 50 degrees with door ajar. Alternatively, if there is a (working) heater inside the house, just leave it beside the heater to rise/proof.
- I used more oil from the bottle of sun-dried tomatoes than olive oil for drizzling, so as to gave it a nice red tinge and Mediterranean fragrance.
1 loaf (size of baking tray)