This is one of my favourite bread recipes from Dan Lepard, via Guardian. It is studded generously with black olives and coated with a mix of sesame seeds, oregano, thyme, sumac, and lemon zest. Since the spelt flour (I used bread spelt flour here) is more “water soluble” than wheat, therefore, using the same amount of liquid will result in a more sticky dough. Thus, if you plan to use wheat flour, then you need 250ml of liquid that the original recipe calls for, instead of 220ml that I used for this spelt version.
- Strain the olives, then measure the liquid and top up with warm water to make 210ml. Put the strained olives and the liquid into a bowl, then stir in the yeast, sugar and 50g of sesame seeds. Add the spelt bread flour, mix to a soft, sticky dough, cover and leave for 10 minutes.
- Turn out the dough on a lightly oiled work surface, then give the dough a short, 10-second knead. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes more. Repeat this quick knead twice more at 10-minute intervals, then leave the dough, covered, for 90 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line the base of a tray with nonstick baking paper, grind the herbs as fine as you can, then tip on to a large dinner plate and mix with a tablespoon of sesame seeds, the sumac (if using) and lemon zest. On another plate, have ready a wet square of kitchen towel.
- Pat the dough into a rectangle on a clean worktop dusted with a little flour, then roll it up tightly into a snug scroll, making sure all the olives are tucked in. Next, tightly roll the ends of the loaf, so they pinch in and the loaf has a shape a bit like a lemon. Roll the loaf on the wet towel, then roll it in the herb and spice mix.
- Place on the tray seam-side down, cover and leave to rise for 90 minutes. Slash the top and bake at 220C/425F for about 40 minutes until golden brown and crisp.