1 kg flour
20 gr fresh yeast (optional: + 7 gr active dry yeast, makes the bread soft and fluffy)
3 tbsp dried onion
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
150 gr olives, diced (I used green and black)
400 ml warm water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1. In a bowl add the sugar, the yeast and the water. It’s important that the water is warm to the touch, but not burning hot. Leave it to the side for 15-20 minutes to activate and you should have foamy surface.
2. In the mean time dice the olives.
3. In a big mixing bowl add the flour, the salt and the herbs. Whisk until combined and make a well.
4. In the well add the olives. To the bowl of yeast add the active dry yeast, whisk and pour it in the well.
5. Pour more warm water in the empty yeast bowl and keep it near you. You’ll need to add some of it to make the dough. Add little by little until you have soft, not sticky dough.
6. Pour a little bit of oil in your hand and just smear it on the dough to prevent crusting. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it rise in a warm spot for about an hour (or until doubles its size).
7. Depending on what you want you can make one giant bread or divide the dough and put half of it in a plastic bag in the fridge where you can keep it up to 2 days.
8. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees C.
9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Teflon sheet (or just sprinkle with flour).
10. From the other half I made 6 medium sized buns, but you can make 10 small if you want or 1 big. Oil the surface of the buns again, cover with plastic wrap and leave them to rise, then bake. The small and medium ones take about 15-20 minutes, the big one about 20-25, I’ve never baked the whole dough as one bread, but I guess it’ll take up to 40 minutes.
11. When you decide to bake the rest of the dough you’ll need to take it out of the fridge, knead it until the air is released and put it in a bowl to warm for 1-2 hours to room temperature (don’t forget to oil the surface to prevent crusting and cover with plastic wrap), form the bread and leave it to rise for an hour or so. Bake as before.
Tips: For a really soft bread make the dough 1 day in advance, divide it in 2 plastic bags and leave it in the fridge, then proceed as described. After baking immediately sprinkle the bread with a few drops of water, wrap it in a linen free kitchen towel and put it in a plastic bag for 30-40 minutes and that way the crust will soften.