- Preparation and cooking time
- You'll have a baked loaf in 2 ½ - 3 hrs
- Makes 10 rolls
Team these rustic bread rolls with a selection of antipasti or your favourite Italian fare
For the white loaf
For the flavourings
- STEP 1
Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and pour in almost 300ml hand warm (cool rather than hot) water and 1 tbsp olive oil, with a round-bladed knife. Then mix in enough of the remaining water and a bit more if needed, to gather up any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl, until the mixture comes together as a soft, not too sticky, dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.
- STEP 2
Put the dough onto a very lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins until it feels smooth and elastic, only adding the minimum of extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough sticking. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl and leave for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size and feels light and springy. Timing will depend on the warmth of the room.
- STEP 3
Knock back the dough by gently kneading just 3-4 times. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles, so too much handling now will lose the dough’s lightness. Shape into a ball, then cover and leave for 10 mins.
- STEP 4
Cut the dough into 10 even pieces. Shape each into a ball and sit them on 2 baking parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave for 40-45 mins, or until about doubled in size.
- STEP 5
Finish by using your fingers press a wide indent in the middle of each roll. Scatter over the roasted peppers, cheese and olives pressing down quite firmly into the indents, finish with rocket. Drizzle with most of the remaining oil mixed with a good pinch of dried oregano. Season.
- STEP 6
Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven 20 mins before ready to bake and heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put the risen bread in the oven, carefully pour about 250ml cold water into the roasting tin (this will hiss and create a burst of steam to give you a crisp crust), then lower the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake for 20 mins or until golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the underneath of the loaf if should be firm and sound hollow. When baked, drizzle with a little extra olive oil.