Mediterranean Picnic Loaf

Forget making lots of fiddly picnic sandwiches with this all in one loaf! Cheese, herbs and tomatoes are in this mediterranean loaf so no filling required!

Forget making stacks of fiddly picnic sandwiches with this all in one loaf! Cheese, herbs and tomatoes are baked into the loaf so no filling required, just bake and go!

Preparation time 20 mins plus rising - Baking time 35-40 mins - Serves 4-6

Ingredients
  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g dried fast action yeast
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs plus extra for sprinkling
  • 335ml water
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 250g feta, cut into small cubes
  • 12 olives, halved
  • A handful of shredded basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp milk for brushing
Method
  1. Grease and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add 2 tsp herbs, pour in the water and bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough.
  2. Place the dough on your work surface and begin to knead – try not to add any more flour as the dough will become less sticky as you knead it. Knead for approx 5-10 mins until smooth and elastic. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or oiled clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  3. Remove from the bowl and knock back the dough by gently kneading the air out of it until it is almost back to its original size. Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and rolling pin then roll the dough out into a 30cm square.
  4. Scatter the sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, olives and basil leaves across the surface of the dough then firmly roll it up starting on one long edge. Press the dough together at each end to seal then carefully place the dough on the prepared baking tray with the join positioned underneath.
  5. Loosely cover with a damp tea towel or oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 40 mins-1 hour until doubled in size. Towards the end of this time preheat the oven to 220˚C/200˚C fan/ gas mark 7.
  6. Brush the top of the risen dough with milk and sprinkle with dried herbs. Bake for 35-40 mins or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Best eaten the same day but will keep for 2 days in the fridge.

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