Call me "King of The Carbs!". That's right. If there is one simple pleasure I cannot live without it has to be bread. Whether it be a sourdough bread with its crusty exterior and sour taste, a good golden brioche from Germany or Australia's very own "damper" . I'm a sucker for it! It was always present at the dinner table growing up. Whilst bread has received a lot of negative press in recent years due to the "no carb" following, it was never going to disappear completely. These days I vary the types I eat depending on my mood. But I usually end up with a wholemeal sourdough loaf. I love it toasted and dipped in extra virgin olive oil and dipped in za'tar . Or I end up making bruschetta. Or paninis...the list goes on and I don't want to bore you!
I've managed to make bread from scratch a few times. With varying mixed results. I got into a period a few years back where all I did was bake bread for a whole week and gave it to all the neighbours...all for "testing" of course! It was only recently when I made tsourekia, that I got inspired again. And it sort of freaked me out. My first batch turned out like bricks. Of course on closer inspection I had been using out of date packet yeast, so there was my answer. All the memories came flooding back about how bread making from scratch is like an exact science. The environment has to be warm enough to let the bread prove, the water can't be too hot when you blend it with the yeast, using the correct flour with a high gluten content etc...But nonetheless I enjoy the challenge and the feel of kneading the dough and giving it a good bash about! Nothing like letting your frustrations out!
When I picked up some Kalamata olives up the other day, I knew that I wanted to make some kind of olive flatbread with these. I looked through my extensive library of books and mags but in the end I settled for a recipe on an Australian website found here. I pretty much followed the recipe except for a few things: I didn't use fresh rosemary on mine. I just used a mixture of dried herbs that I scattered over the flatbread. Also, they call theirs a "focaccia" whereas mine didn't really puff up on the second proving as much. It still worked out ok and was a little flatter, hence me taking the creative licence to name it a flatbread. It kept for a few days too. All I did was reheat it in the oven wrapped in foil and drizzle it with some extra virgin olive oil again. I just love biting into it and feeling the plump, salty taste of the olives and the distinct taste of the olive oil.
After this little flatbread experiment. I got crazy again and decided to make some Indian flatbreads or naan...we'll save that for a few posts time.