This is a bread that I keep baking over and over and all my lunch guests love!! Just the smell of this savoury loaf, packed with cheese, herbs, olives and roasted capsicums will make your mouth water!! It’s very easy to make and is delicious for lunch with a bowl of soup and a big salad.
It’s too good to keep
The bread is best eaten really fresh from the oven, but will keep for a couple of days. You can wrap it in aluminium foil and warm it through in the oven or slice it and toast it, though, if it’s like in my house, there probably won’t be any leftovers anyway.
Ingredients to serve 4-6 people
butter for greasing
75g stuffed olives
75g roasted capsicums (found them in jars at the supermarket)
1tbsp. thyme leaves
1tbsp. chives finely chopped
125g parmesan, grated (I always use Grana Padano but it’s up to you which one to use)
350g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp each salt and black pepper
1tsp dry mustard
2 eggs, beaten
300ml buttermilk or buttermilk and plain yoghurt, mixed
2-3tbsp olive oil
eggwash made with 1 egg and a little cold water, beaten
springs of thyme, slices of capsicums and flakes of sea salt for topping.
The equipment you will need is a 900g silicone loaf pan
1- Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter the loaf pan and either line it with baking paper or lightly dust it with flour.
2- Cut the olives and the capsicums into slices, Strip the thyme leaves off their stalks and strip the chives into small pieces. Grate the parmesan.
3- Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, pepper and the mustard powder together into a large bowl.
4- Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk the buttermilk or yoghurt in a jug with the olive oil, then add them to the eggs and beat together.
5- Mix the olives, capsicums, herbs and cheese into the flour mixture. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir until you achieve a thick, sticky batter.
6- Use a spatula to scrape the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
7- Smooth the top of the loaf and paint with eggwash. Decorate with extra springs of thyme and slices of capsicums. Scatter with flakes of sea salt. Bake the loaf in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top is risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean,
8- Cool the loaf in the pan for at least 10 minutes and then turn it onto a rack to finish cooling. Slice and serve.
Substitute sun-dried tomatoes for the capsicums or, if you like a bit of bite, slice up some pepperoncini and add those. Which ever you choose, drain off any oil and brine and pat dry before using.
Please give it a try, you won’t regret it and POST ANY COMMENTS YOU HAVE AND LET ME KNOW HOW YOU WENT. ENJOY AND HAPPY BAKING!!