Since I saw the Netflix documentary “A Plastic Ocean” last weekend, I’ve been back on my zero-plastic kick and trying hard to reduce the amount of plastic we use and dispose of on a daily basis. (If you haven’t seen the film, I really recommend that you do. It’s very eye-opening!)
We’re already pretty plastic-conscious (we don’t use plastic bags, or plastic food wrap, or single-use plastics etc), but we realised that there’s so much more we can do to further minimise how much plastic we’re using. When I took a closer look at what we were using, I realised that we accumulate 7-10 small plastic bags every week just from eating bread. And even though we save those bags and reuse them, it all adds up over time.
So my mission became to make all our own bread from scratch. For a family like mine who LOVES bread and has a very healthy appetite, this is quite some mission. We can easily get through a whole load of homemade bread in one sitting!
But I didn’t let that deter me- I’d rather make the effort every morning to produce fresh bread from scratch instead of risking yet more turtles dying from mistakenly eating plastic bags…
And you know what? Fresh bread is far healthier and it also smells and tastes heavenly, especially when you’re eating it straight from the oven! Especially this black olive and thyme bread. It’s easy to make, doesn’t take too much hands-on effort and you’ll be rewarded with broad smiles from your whole family. Here’s the recipe 🙂
- 500g all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 330ml water (hand hot)
- 1 teaspoon dried yeast
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 100g black olives, chopped
- Take an nice big bowl and place into it the flour followed by the salt, the yeast and the dried thyme. Try to place the salt and the yeast on opposite sides of your bowl- it’s better that they don’t touch until later in the mixing process. Stir well to combine.
- Next add the olive oil and the chopped black olives, and mix again.
Finally, gently pour some of your water into the flour mixture and start to stir. Keep adding the water until you’ve used most of it.
- Keep stirring until it gets difficult, and then switch to using your hands to pull everything together. I like to pour the mixture onto my clean work surface to do this bit- I have more space and it’s easier to bring it all together. Add more water or a sprinkle more flour if needed. (if the dough sticks to the work surface, sprinkle a small amount of flour underneath.)
- When your dough is starting to come together, start to knead the dough. If you’re a bread newbie, have a look at the video below on how to knead bread dough
- When your dough looks lovely and smooth springs back easily after you press a finger into it it’s ready to prove. Cover with a clean teatowel or a clean plastic bag and leave somewhere warm-ish for around 1 ½-2 hours until doubled in size.
- Remove from the bowl, knead it for minute or two and then shape as required. I take our big knife and cut into eight pieces, then form eight olive bread rolls and place onto a pregreased baking tray.
- Next preheat the oven to 180℃ and leave the rolls to prove again for around 30 minutes.
- Place the rolls into the oven and cook for around 30 minutes until lightly browned and cooked in the inside.
- Serve warm for best results.