- 3 gm dried yeast
- 250 gm baker’s flour (see note)
- 18 small Kalamata olives, pitted and patted dry with absorbent paper
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 200 gm golden shallots (about 6), finely diced
- 1Whisk yeast and 75ml lukewarm water in a large bowl to dissolve yeast and set aside until foamy (5-10 minutes). Add flour, 1 tsp salt, 100ml water at room temperature and combine with a pastry scraper. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead with the scraper until a dough forms. Transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside in a draught-free place until dough has increased 2½ times in volume (1-1½ hours), knock back and prove again until doubled (1 hour).
- 2Meanwhile, for caramelised shallots, heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add shallots and stir occasionally until deep golden (15-25 minutes). Drain in a sieve to remove excess oil (discard) and set aside.
- 3Knock back dough, add shallots and knead to combine. Divide dough into 5 pieces and roll each into a 30cm-long log shape, tapered at the ends. Press olives along the length of each loaf and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Set aside to prove until doubled in size (1 hour).
- 4Preheat oven to 250C. Dust ficelles with extra flour, ensure olives are firmly pressed into the dough and bake until golden (15-20 minutes). Cool on a wire rack. Serve on the same day.
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