What’s cooking today: Olive braai bread
Here’s another take on a basic pot bread (potbrood), but given a Mediterranean twist with lovely plump black olives.
Take advantage of these height-of-summer days with this lazy pot bread that needs only a 20-minute rise (though I give it half an hour and there’s no reason why not) before being eased into an oiled flat-bottomed pot and cooked with the aid of a few hot coals for just an hour.
1 kg white bread wheat flour
10 g instant yeast
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups lukewarm water and a little more if necessary
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ a cup black olives, chopped
Olive oil for the pot
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and stir well with a wooden spoon. Only stir in the salt after this so that it does not neutralise the yeast.
Add lukewarm water a little at a time, while kneading the dough, until it is all combined. Now add the 2 Tbsp olive oil and continue kneading until it is a nice plump ball of dough and no longer sticky. Add the olives (depip and chop them into little pieces first) to the dough in the bowl and knead again for a few minutes, turning and push-pulling with your hands/fists, until all the bits of olive are evenly distributed.
Leave the ball of dough in the bowl, cover with a slightly damp tea towel, and put it in a warm spot outside for 20 minutes, or inside if the weather is not playing ball. The Foodie’s Wife, who has occasional flashes of kitchen genius, taught me the trick of turning on the oven till it is a little warm, then turning it off and putting the dough in there to rise.
Check that you have braai coals. Oil the inside of your heavy-bottomed pot well. Carefully ease the dough into it; you may need to use a silicone spatula to scrape the edges downwards. Put the lid on the braai pot. Place in the braai and immediately place hot coals all around the base, and a few more on top. Keep replenishing the coals at the base and on the lid for a full hour. Remove the lid, and it should turn out perfectly. Like the one in the picture. DM/TGIFood
Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here.
Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.
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