Here’s a loaf that’s virtually a meal. It’s packed with flavour and Mediterranean goodness. And the soft, crumbly texture has a lovely melt-in-the-mouth quality.
Makes: Two medium loaves or three smaller ones
Time: 25 minutes prep then about 25 min. baking.
Equipment: No special stuff needed.
- 500g/1lb 2oz plain white flour + extra for dusting
- 10g/0.25oz salt
- 20g/0.75oz bicarbonate of soda
- About 75g/2.5oz sun-dried tomatoes
- 100g/3.5oz – 150g/5.5oz finely chopped chorizo (I used ready diced)
- 60g/2oz melted butter
- About 50g/1.75oz – 75g/2.5oz pesto (green or red)
- 400ml/14fl oz – 420ml/15fl oz buttermilk*. (you might not need it all)
- Some oats for scattering on top (optional)
*If you don’t have any buttermilk then add lemon juice to milk and leave it to stand for five minutes then stir and use. Use semi-skimmed or full fat milk at this ratio: 250ml to 1 tbsp lemon juice (or white wine vinegar.)
1. Preheat oven to 220C/fan 200C/425F/Gas 7. Line two baking trays and scatter over some flour.
2. Put the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and mix well.
3. Use kitchen paper to dab the oil from the tomatoes then slice them. Chop the chorizo if necessary. Stir the tomatoes and chorizo into the flour mixture.
4. Melt the butter. (Two or three short blasts in the microwave should do it.)
5. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture then tip in the melted butter, pesto and about two-thirds of the buttermilk and mix well, scraping down the sides to incorporate all the flour. Add the rest of the buttermilk if the mixture seems dry.
6. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. You hardly need to knead it, just bring it together with a few firm squeezes.
7. Separate and shape the dough into two or three balls, place them on the trays and flatten a little. Dust with flour and/or brush with milk or left-over buttermilk or olive oil. Cut a deep cross into each piece. If you’ve brushed milk or buttermilk on the tops then you could also sprinkle on some oats, but this is optional.
8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, maybe a bit less if you’ve got three small loaves on the go. When you think they’re done, tap underneath. If it sounds hollow, they’re done.
9. Cool on a wire rack etcetera – all the normal post-bake stuff.
I wish you every success with your bread making. I hope you have a go at this one and enjoy making and eating a lovely loaf. If you want to see more of my bread recipes click here. If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.