Today I am going to share with you one of my favourite bread recipes ever! It is from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s book Turquoise - A Chef’s Travels in Turkey. I highly recommend this book. It is admittedly one of the more expensive books in my collection, but you certainly get what you pay for, and more. The recipes are all fantastic and quickly become family favourites. There are also plenty of stunning photographs and beautiful little travel tidbits too. I always like to hear the stories behind recipes and growing up travelling the world, I love to sit and day dream of far off exotic places (and meals!!)
One of the great things about this particular recipe is its versatility. You can use it to make gorgeous sandwiches, slice it in thick “fingers” and dip it into balsamic vinegar and olive oil, serve it with olive oil and dukkah, make bruscetta, use it as a pizza base, or make Turkish pide pies.
So without further ado, here it is:
1 tablespoon yeast
375ml warm water
480g bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
60ml olive oil
nigella or sesame seeds
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 125ml of the water and set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy. Mix in 90g of the flour to form the “sponge” and set it aside somewhere warm for 30 minutes.
After letting it rest, add the remainder of the flour & water along with the salt and olive oil. Mix it in your mixer with a dough hook on low for around 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t panic – it is a really wet mix. Now you need to let is sit somewhere warm for an hour to rise.
Once it has doubled in size, turn it out on to a very well floured bench and shape into 2 long logs. Gently place them onto lined, greased or floured trays and sit for another half an hour.
Finally, combine the egg and milk and brush over the loaves then sprinkle them with the seeds. Preheat your oven to its hottest setting (I do mine at 250oC with the fan on) and cook them for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and they should sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom. Finally, allow a good 10 minutes or so of cooling time before you cut into them so the bread doesn’t collapse in on itself.