When I went to uni many years ago we went on a Marae trip where we had all sorts of wonderful creative photography based workshops. I ended up in one with the most wonderful tutor Deb, expecting something photographic based I was surprised when she announced we were going to make bread. Her philosophy was 'when life turns to shit you can always make bread'.
After 15 or so years I don't really remember much about uni or even still work in the industry but I can tell you something I will always remember her wonderful bread and those words. Over the years I have made this bread so many times though good times and bad. It has the most simple and cheap ingredients, you can add any extras you want, it's pretty forgiving on the measurements and will make you feel good.
It is the perfect accompaniment to some homemade pumpkin soup or on a tasting board with some cheese, chutney and cured meat.
You can also buy most of these ingredients package free at the bulk bins. Which makes it ideal if you are trying to minimise plastic and live a low waste life.
300ml warm water
2 tbls yeast
1 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls olive oil
4 cups of flour
1 pinch of salt
Toppings - optional
Garlic - roughly chopped
Black Olives - roughly chopped
- Heat your oven to 200 degree.
- Add the yeast in sugar into the bowl of warm water and mix to combine. Place somewhere warm for 15-20mins until it appears bubbly.
- In another bowl add the flour and salt, make a little well in the middle and add your wet yeast mixture with the olive oil. Mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon to combine into a dough ball.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel or wax wrap and leave somewhere warm for the bread to rise (it should double in size) for a minimum of 45 mins. It may take longer depending on the room temperature.
- After risen take out the dough and place onto a floured surface, either straight on the bench top or a wooden board. Make into your preferred shape with your hands and then carefully pop onto a tray lined with baking paper. You could make one large one or a couple of smaller sized ones, whatever takes your fancy!
- Now you can apply what toppings you like, I tend to make some indentations with my knuckles then glug over some olive oil, then scatter with rosemary leaves, garlic, salt and olives.
- Pop into a your preheated oven for approx. 30 mins or until cooked.
- Then enjoy! It's best eaten on the day but if you happen to have any leftover it will last a day or two in a sealed container.