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Amore Al Dente Dinner Lunch Vegetarian

Crostini with White Bean, Olive and Thyme Tapenade

INGREDIENTS

– 7g dry yeast
– 400 ml warm water
– 1/2 Teaspoon of crushed vitamin C
– 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
– 3 teaspoons brown sugar
– 300g of wholemeal bread flour
– 150g white bread flour
– Olive oil
– Salt, pepper
– 450g can of white cannellini beans
– a tablespoon of dried thyme
– 1/2 cup of chopped black olives
– a garlic clove

DIRECTIONS

Wholemeal Bread:

Dissolve 7g dry yeast in 400ml warm water with 1/2 teaspoon of crushed vitamin C, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 teaspoons brown sugar. Make a well in 300g of wholemeal bread flour and 150g white bread flour in a large bowl and pour in water. Mix together with your hands until combined, knead briefly and then cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch down dough and knead on a lightly floured surface with your hands lubricated with olive oil to work the oil through the bread only until elastic and smooth. I also work in a good pinch of salt at this stage because adding it at the beginning can deactivate the yeast. Form a round shape on a baking tray and place in a very hot preheated oven at 250 degrees.

For an extra crisp crust you can spray a large oven-proof bowl with water and cover the loaf that way the steam will create an outer layer that is crunchy and golden. After about 15-20 minutes remove the bowl and turn the temperature down to 200degrees and cook for a further 20 minutes. The loaf should be cooked when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can spray the outside with extra water (or even the walls of your oven) to create steam and further crisp the crust. Even though it’s tempting, do not cut into the bread straight away – leave to rest for at least 15-20 minutes.

Tapenade:

In a bowl or large mortar, combine one 450g can of white cannellini beans, a generous pinch of sea salt, a grind of black pepper, a tablespoon of dried thyme, 1/2 cup of chopped black olives (not the Spanish kind that are tough and lacking in moisture) and a splash of olive oil by grind with a pestle. You want to leave the mixture quite coarse for texture so there’s no need to grind to a paste. Add more olive oil to amalgamate the ingredients if necessary. Taste to adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Toast slices of the bread by heating a pan with a little olive and rubbing each slice with a garlic clove before frying on each side. Spread the tapenade on thickly and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.”

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