In my July 2014 newsletter I featured Chef and Baker Ali Benammar, whose cookbook ‘Family Flavours’ has now become my trusted kitchen companion. My olive flatbreads didn’t turn out quite as beautiful and perfect as the ones in Ali’s book. Also, after deciding to make them, I realised I didn’t have enough white flour, so mine were made of half white-half wholemeal flour and, I confess, I used half black and half green olives. Even so, they tasted absolutely delicious. I made a double batch, half of which I later placed in a bag and put in the freezer. They worked perfectly from freezer direct to toaster. So what I’m really trying to say is : make them, they’re fantastic!
500g strong bread flour
25g sea salt
2 tsp olive oil
40g fresh or dry yeast
200g small pitted black olives
350 ml water
300g semolina (50 gms for dusting). (The semolina gives this bread a lovely crunchy crust)
Put all the ingredients in the bowl and knead for 15-20 minutes. The dough is ready when it is springy and not sticky. Dust the table top with semolina and roll the dough in it. I split the dough into small balls which I then flattened to be 1cm thick and placed on lightly floured trays (you can also use trays lined with greaseproof paper).
Cover the flattened dough balls with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190°c. Remove the towel and put the trays in the oven. Bake 25-30 minutes. Tap the top of the breads with your fingers. If they sound hollow and are a nice golden colour- they’re ready. If not, return to the over for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve hot, with olive oil for dipping and a beautiful salad on the side.