About the Author
Sonia Allison is a hugely experienced cookery writer. Her many previous books include the LOW CHOLESTEROL GLUTTON and CLASSIC MICROWAVE RECIPES.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Italys renowned flat bread, peasant in character, sublime when eaten oven-fresh and warm, in hunks, Italian ham, cold sliced salamis, olives, cheese, sliced tomatoes sprinkled with basil and garlic or just on its own as a snack with a local red wine. Fruity olive oil added to the dough gives the bread a compelling intensity and fresh herbs contribute their beloved Mediterranean scent to what has steadily become an established classic. The breadmaker dough was perfection, the bread itself the best of its kind any of us had tasted.
272ml/ 10 fl oz/ 1 ¼ cups water
2tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
450 g/ 16 oz/ 3 cups strong white bread flour
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp caster sugar
7g sachet instant or fast-acting dried yeast
semolina or fine polenta, for dusting
fresh or dried rosemary needles, for sprinkling
Pour the water into the breadmaker bucket, then add the oil and half the flour. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Cover with the remaining flour and mound the yeast into the centre. Fit the bucket into the breadmaker and set to the dough programme.When ready, remove the dough from the bucket and quickly knead on a floured surface. Shape into a large ball, then press out over the base of a well oiled 30 cm/ 12 in pizza tin, sprinkled with semolina or fine polenta. Fill in any gaps by stretching the dough with your fingers no problem as it is very malleable. Cover with oiled paper and leave to rise until doubled in size; an airing cupboard is useful if youre in a hurry. Dimple the surface quite deeply all over with your fingertips, gently drizzle olive oil into the holes and sprinkle with rosemary. Bake at 190°C/ 425°F/ gas mark 7 for 15-20 minutes or until well-risen and golden-brown. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil and eat warm.