N is for… Nothing and Nuts
N is for… Nothing and Nuts
I baked a wholegrain version of Dan Lepard’s olive oil bread from The Handmade Loaf: Celia’s recent Weekend Sourdough post had reminded me about how good this flatbread can be for a quick lunch.
It’s an easy dough to mix, fold and stretch intermittently for a couple of hours while you get on and do other things. Dan Lepard describes the technique in The Handmade Loaf and I nearly always use this method for dealing with soft doughs like this. The Handmade Loaf is much more than a recipe book, it teaches you a whole way of thinking and dealing with doughs and bread. If I could only keep one bread book from the pile on the shelf that one would be it and the binding has lasted too!
I’ve always run into trouble with this bread sticking to the tin in the past and for the first time ever, I remembered this, and thought, ‘Line the pan, that’s what you said last time, Jo, do it for once! ‘ and it worked.
A sheet of baking parchment in the bottom of my brownie tin, I patted the dough out on top of a layer of olive oil and then flipped it over, it tore a little but I just worked it a bit more, paddling away like an old cat kneading someone’s tummy and it all fell into place.
The cupboard yielded up some dried onion flakes, I braved the garden to grab some rosemary needles from the bush, and I had some fine Cornish sea salt to sprinkle over the top. I dimpled away some more, put the tray in the boiler cupboard for a while. The oven had been on already with the stone in for some wholewheat breads so it was too good an opportunity to miss. It was lovely and golden in 20 minutes at 220 C. I took it out, and cut two squares for lunch, topped those with the remains of a ball of mozarella and some cherry tomatoes, and returned them to the oven – this time with the grill switched on. I think I had it a bit hot, as the corners started to catch as you can see. Still….
…sizzle sizzle, and out again. Salad leaves, sloosh olive oil, scrunch black pepper, dribble of white balsamic. A soft and fragrant bread, hot from the oven, cheered us up no end!
Here we go gathering nuts in May…
I wonder if that children’s rhyme was written by someone who lived on the other side of the world? No, I have googled and it supposedly refers to the young edible leaves and buds of the hawthorn tree also known as ‘the bread and cheese’ tree. Just nipped out to the garden, grabbed a handful, can report that the leaves are quite soft and well leafy, not bitter though, not so keen on the flowers….back indoors for a cup of coffee – eats shoots and leaves :) – that was a bit of a digression, ok here we go.. PS following Choclette’s comment I have done a bit more googling and I can’t resist adding this link I’ve just found to The Knots of May! Go on guess what they do ?
At the risk of being repetitive I have to say that I love The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard. I love the beautiful photographs and the stories about the people who Dan met on his travels and I have really enjoyed making the breads. This was the first bread book I ever owned and it is a great friend which will inspire and excite you and lead you to try all sorts of wonderful breads that you didn’t dream you could make for yourself.