From Laura Di Lembo
Adapted from a recipe in Flatbreads and Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
- 1-1/2 c. lukewarm water
- 1 t. dry yeast
- large pinch of sugar
- 4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 2 T. olive oil, plus extra for oiling and brushing on dough
- 2 t. kosher salt
- 1-1/2 c. chopped and pitted olives (Nyons or Kalamata)
- 1/4 c. buckwheat flour (adds great flavour and colour)
- 2 c. whole wheat flour
Place the lukewarm water in a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast with a large pinch of sugar. Mix. Leave for about 15 minutes until frothy. In a large bowl combine the flours, olive oil, salt and olives. Add the proofed yeast mixture and knead by hand or with a dough hook until smooth, about 10 minutes. Add more flour if dough is sticky. When you have a cohesive ball, oil it, put it in a clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch down the risen dough, place it back in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise again, about 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Flour a counter top and turn the dough out onto the counter. Using your hands, flatten the dough ball into a disc. Use a rolling pin to shape the disc into a long oval, about 12” long, 8” wide and 1/2” thick. Transfer the oval to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Take a sharp knife and slash 3 vertical cuts along the middle of the oval, starting 1” away from the top and bottom edges. Make 3 angled cuts along each side of the bread, mimicking the veins of a leaf, also 1” away from the borders. Use your fingers to open up the slashes into wide gaps. Brush olive oil onto the bread. Let it rise again until puffed, about 30 minutes. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden. Makes 1 large bread.