An authentic Italian recipe for the classic olive oil-soaked bread.
Recipe calls for 200g ‘00’ flour, 200g strong bread flour, a teaspoon of fast-action dry yeast, a teaspoon of fine salt, a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 300ml of tepid water mixed into a soft, slightly sticky and shaggy ball in a bowl, which is covered and left to rest for at least 15 minutes. You then turn the dough on to an oiled worktop and knead it gently for a few minutes before returning to the oiled bowl for an hour. By now, the dough should be as soft and pliable as warm putty, and ready to be pressed into a large bread tin – or two smaller ones. Then it is left to rest for another hour, before being given deep dimples with oily fingers and baked at 190C/375F/gas 5 for 25 minutes, or until puffed up and the colour of a polished cymbal. To finish, brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chopped rosemary, then serve while still warm. True, this all demands time, but not from the cook, as most of it is resting, which – because we know – is when good things happen.