My first go at making this recipe. I didn't make this one round like the usual flat breads because I was wanting something everyone could tare off easily and dip into the most delicious sausage white bean soup I made with some juicy tomatoes and basil out of the garden. This recipe has really taken me out of the box so to speak with my bread making skills. It has even changed the way I usually do my pizza dough. The entire loaf was eaten by the family in one meal. I turned around today and made a double batch into the typical round french flat bread and used it for pizzas. Usually I want to change or adjust something in a new recipe after making it for the first time. Honestly, I would not change a thing for this one. You will need to make a yeast dough starter for this one, but it only takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get nice and bubbly. By the time I finish getting all the ingredients together the starter is ready. to use.
1/2 Cup lukewarm water, divided
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 3/4 Cup Unbleached Bread Flour
2 fresh from the farm eggs
1 Tsp. Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
2 Tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup black olives chopped
3 small sprigs of fresh Rosemary, cut or minced into small pieces
4 or 5 sprigs of fresh Thyme, remove the leaves from the stems
2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
Lemon Zest from one Lemon
An extra egg whipped with a tad of warm water for brushing the top of the loaf
Make your starter by using a small warm bowl. Place 1/4 of the lukewarm water into it and sprinkle the yeast on top. Use a wire whisk and stir it until the yeast dissolves. Use about 1/2 cup of your flour and sprinkle it on top and mix it all together. Cover your bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then place a towel over the top. Sit in a warm place. It will bubble in about 20 minutes. Go ahead and prepare the rest of your ingredients. In a large bowl sift the remaining flour. Add the salt, sugar, herbs, garlic and lemon zest and whisk it all together. Make a well in the middle and put in your eggs, olive oil and black olives. Get your dough starter and put it in the well. With your fingers start working the outer flour over the well and then begin to knead the dough for about 10 minutes or so until it becomes nice and soft and feels like everything has become evenly moist and soft. Place the dough into a lightly oiled warm bowl and again wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and a towel and place in a warm spot. Let it rest and rise for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Next, take it out of the bowl and gently punch down the dough, just enough to remove the gas bubbles. Shape it into a flattened round circle or work it into an oblong loaf. You can gently put slits into the loaf at this time with a very sharp knife. Place your loaf on a lightly oiled baking pan and cover with a towel. Let rise for about 40 minutes and then brush with your egg mixture. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes or just until nice and golden. Place on a wire rack and let cool.
Grab a tall pitcher of Iced Tea, Put on your silliest garden hat and have a blast outdoors with some special garden friends this summer!!