This is an ideal picnic bread. It is great filled as a large roll, cut into slices for crostini or bruschetta, or just broken off to eat as it is. It is quite wonderful plain or with some chopped sautéed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, olives, nuts or herbs mixed through before its second rising.
Put the yeast in a large bowl with the olive oil, sugar and
Add the flour and salt and mix with your hands until it comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until it is firm, smooth and elastic.
Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel and then with a heavier towel. Put the bowl in a draught-free warm place for 1½–2 hours until the dough has puffed right up.
Knock down the dough by punching out all the air to bring it back to its original size. Divide it in half. Now is the time to mix through any ingredients that you will be adding — in this case the roasted tomatoes. Work each half with your hands to form two small baguette-shaped loaves. Scatter a little flour onto a baking tray large enough to hold both loaves. You could also line it with baking paper or oil. Put the loaves on the tray, cover loosely with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for 20–30 minutes.
Take off the tea towel and
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