Makes 1 loaf
6 tablespoons olive oil
A large bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves only
500g (1lb 2oz) strong bread flour, plus extra to sprinkle
1 sachet (7g) fast-action dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
200ml (7fl oz) warm water
- Put the olive oil and rosemary into a bowl and squeeze the rosemary with your hands to infuse the oil.
- Put the flour, yeast and salt into a bowl and stir well. Stir in two tablespoons of the rosemary-infused oil and two tablespoons of warm water.
- Put your hands right in the bowl and mix the ingredients with your fingers. Check you have the right temperature of water for making bread dough by putting your fingers in a bowl of water; it should feel nice and warm – neither too hot nor too cold. Keep adding the warm water to the mix a little at a time, until you get a dough that’s soft but not too sticky.
- Sprinkle a little flour over a clean work surface, turn out the dough onto it and knead for 5–10 minutes, making sure that the dough is very smooth and pliable. Now dust a baking tray (measuring about 20x30cm) with flour.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle slightly smaller than the prepared baking tray. Lift it carefully into the tray, cover the tray with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour, until the dough is double its original size.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6. Uncover the dough, which should be almost bursting out of the tray by now! Push in your thumb all over (don’t worry if it deflates) to make big dimples. Scatter some rock salt over the top.
- Put the bread in the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes. Your children can now be the bread testers – it should be firm and golden. Also get them to gently tap the bottom; if it makes a hollow sound, then the bread is properly baked.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack. Cut the bread into squares, triangles or any other shapes that take your fancy, and serve.
Adapted from Cooking Italian With Kids by Liz Franklin (Ryland Peters & Small, £14.99).