About this recipe:This is a lovely bread to add to a Mediterranean meze table. Use black or green olives and try it toasted, drizzled with a little olive oil and rubbed with roasted garlic.
2 (7g) sachets fast action yeast
125ml warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large red onions, diced
1kg bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules (optional)
275g pitted kalamata olives, chopped
425ml warm water
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:45min › Extra time:1hr50min › Ready in:3hr5min
Sprinkle the yeast over 125ml of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 40 degrees C. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and the onions. Cook and stir for 3 minutes, or until onions are soft. Remove the onions from heat and reserve.
Combine the bread flour, salt, sugar, dill, garlic granules, olives and cooked onions in a large bowl and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and the remaining water. Mix well until the ingredients have pulled together and have formed a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (27 to 35 degrees C) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Lightly grease two baking trays. Deflate the risen dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a knife to divide the dough into two equal pieces - don't tear it. Shape into dough into round loaves, and place the loaves into the prepared trays. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 230 C / Gas mark 8.
Bake loaves in the preheated oven until the tops are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing.