I hate letting food go to waste, and like to use everything in the fridge before it goes off, if I can. This week I found myself with far too many olives in the fridge and not enough time to eat them all, so I decided to make olive tapenade. But of course I had to make my rustic focaccia bread to eat it with! If you, like me, love bread and olives then scroll down for these super simple recipes.

Well, I say recipes. The foccacia bread is one I’ve been making for years, and the tapenade was a bit of a fluke but both are absolutely delicious, I promise!

First, the olive tapenade.

What you need:

  • Olives
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Capers
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Blender

I’d say I had about 200g of olives, and once I had made sure they were pitted I threw them all into the blender. I added in about 9 or 10 semi sundried tomatoes, two garlic cloves that had been soaked in olive oil, two teaspoons of capers and blended them all together. Then I added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of olive oil, before a final blend. It’s completely at your own discretion how much oil you use as it will affect how thick or thin the consistency is. For an added kick you can add anchovies, but I prefer to make it without. I won’t lie, this was a complete experiment, but it was absolutely delicious.

Now for my favourite foccacia bread.

What you need:

  • 400g Strong White Flour
  • Packet of Yeast
  • 250ml Warm Water
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Baking Tray

Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl make a well in the centre. Pour the water into the well, sprinkle the yeast over it and leave for 5 minutes to soften. Stir to dissolve, then mix in the flour until you have a sticky dough. Knead it into a soft dough on a floured surface. Place the dough in a bowl lined with oil and cover. Leave for 1-2 hours; the dough should double in size.

Roll out the dough, place it in an oiled tray and dimple it all over. Cover it with a cloth and leave it to rise for 45 mins. Place the tray in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-30 minutes. The bread should be golden brown and hollow when you tap it underneath. I tend to pour olive oil and sprinkle sea salt over the bread once I’ve taken it out, but you could add anything to it once its been taken out, or even do this before the final five minutes of baking. Rosemary, basil, tomato, olives, and parmesan, are all examples of ingredients to sprinkle on top. The bread keeps for a few days in a sealed container, but it is definitely at its best when it is fresh from the oven and lathered in butter.

One important note is to know your oven, mine recently had a new heating element installed and it’s much more efficient than it was. (Yes, I have burned many things as a result!)

I hope you’ll give these a go, and if you do be sure to let me know what you think! 🙂

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