Not much beats the smell of fresh bread straight from the oven (or the breadmaker; I'm not ashamed to admit to cheating, especially when it's the kind of cheating that means I can have fresh bread for breakfast without having to get up any earlier).
In winter, I find the fireside is the perfect place to prove a batch of rolls. And over the last few weeks I've been folding in all sorts of tasty morsels: onions, herbs, spices, cheese, peppers. It's all good.
This particular batch came about as a consequence of an email press release announcing Black Dog Delicatessen, a new range from FoodHQ. I was intrigued by their premise: a share of all profits from the range is being donated to support the Labrador Rescue Trust. The founder has two rescue dogs, so this is clearly a cause that's close to his heart.
They kindly sent me a few samples, which included a bottle of olive oil, and a jar of green olives. I happened to have a few red chillis that my dad grew. As I unpacked the box, a plan was already forming in my mind.
The olive oil is light and fruity; nowhere near as peppery as some of my other bottles, but ideal for bread-making. The olives are huge and juicy, in a subtle marinade; it was hard to stop snacking long enough to put some in the baking.
Olive & Chilli Rolls
Makes 4 large rolls
For the dough:
170ml warm water (about ¾cup)
300g (10½oz) strong white flour
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp olive oil
1 small red chilli
8 large green olives
- Mix the yeast and sugar together with a little warm water, and set aside until frothy (about 5 minutes).
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, and add the salt, olive oil, and yeast mixture.
- Mix until combined to a dough, and knead for five minutes.
- Rest for about half an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Knead for a further five minutes.
- Chop the olives, and finely dice the chilli (discarding the seeds).
- Knead the olives and chilli into the dough.
- Divide the mixture into four balls, and flatten onto a heavy-duty, nonstick baking tray.
- Place the tray in a warm place for 45 minutes, to allow the rolls to rise.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- Brush the tops of each roll with the remaining olive oil.
- Bake for 15 - 20 mins, until the tops are golden brown, and the rolls sound hollow if you tap the base.
- Cool on a wire rack (or eat them hot from the oven; just mind your fingers!)