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Archive for the ‘olive oil dough’ Category

I mean this most sincerely, it’s not some cheap trick to lure porn-surfers to my food blog; why would I want to do that?  It’s wordplay on Pigs in Blankets but to satisfy those at the back, here’s an uncut image (for illustration purposes only, please) from the mind-boggling immeatchu blog.

Not sorry to disappoint, I’m referring to the sexiest pasta sauce of all, Puttanesca; a store-cupboard classic from Naples.   Puttana being Italian for whore, puttanesca means whore-style: naturally there is some debate about how it acquired this intriguingly salty name.  It’s all true no doubt, but as importantly it’s a delicious dish to give hunger a good seeing-to and a pushover to pull a few ingredients from fridge and cupboard for the laziest gal – or guy – in town.
raw puttanesca on olive oil dough

Or on a languorous afternoon, do as I did: put a bit of lead in the pencil of some elderly olive oil dough and wrap it around puttanesca’s uncooked ingredients for a putta nuda al forno: salaciously delicious – or deliciously salacious…just try twisting your tongue around that.

Putta Nuda al fornoputtanesca calzone

  • 2 salt-cured anchovies, filleted
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, sliced
  • 10 Niçoise olives, stoned
  • 1 TBS capers, drained
  • dried oregano
  • a fistful of olive oil dough

Shape, strew and scatter as in first pic, stretch the long edges of dough over the filling to meet in the middle and press to seal.  Bake in a hot oven about ½ an hour, basting beforehand and after 15 minutes with oil from the tomatoes.  Cool slightly, slice and serve.

Although there are acceptable variations to the cooked sauce, never have I encountered as total a travesty as at a certain trattoria in Vieux Nice, to which I not-entirely-ironically refer as Casa della Disasta: according to our waitress, their pasta puttanesca contained no olive, neither anchovy nor caper!  Incidentally, on top of that surprise, the line at the till was not for takeaways but disgruntled diners queuing to question the errors on their bills – all in the management’s favour, natch.  Make of that what you will.

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A spicy, meaty, totally convenient-y version of my stuffed olive oil bread.  Make a batch of pulled pork, freeze it on trays then bag for use later.  Pulled pork is a Southern U.S. barbecue classic, yet amenable to countless variations and interpretations by those unfettered by the shackles of tradition (did I say bigotry?).  Here’s the basic recipe:

Pulled Pork

Get hold of a 1 or 2 kg boneless pork shoulder joint and make a dry spice rub, for example:olive oil dough stuffed with pulled pork

  • 4 TBS cumin seeds
  • 2 TBS muscovado
  • 6 TBS pimentón
  • 1 TBS dried thyme
  • 2 TBS sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

Grind the cumin and mix it together with the other ingredients.  If your pork is tied up, untie it to expose maximum surface area and roll the meat around in the spice mix, rubbing in well so that the whole lot sticks.

If you have a slow cooker it will really come into its own now: pack the pork within – no need to tie up again as you’ll be shredding not slicing – and cook at low for several hours or even overnight.  Sufficient moisture should emerge from the pork itself to make adding extra unnecessary.

If you lack a slow cooker put the pork in an ovenproof dish and place in a hot oven (200C plus).  Turn the oven down immediately to 120C and cook for 3 or 4 hours or more, placing a lid on the dish after 2 hours if it looks like it might dry out.  If it dried out before you got to it, pour over a very little wine, stock or water just to keep everything moist – but not wet – and replace the lid.  Do make sure you’re cooking it long and slow or the meat fibres will toughen and make shredding impossible.

Remove from oven, reserving and refrigerating any excess liquid in case you need it later (skim off fat before using); let rest and cool slightly for around 15 minutes.  Separate the joint into manageable pieces and shred the meat with two forks along its muscle fibres, discarding any large hunks of fat, although most will have melted away.

If freezing, spread the shredded pork out on baking trays – covered with greaseproof or silicon paper so it doesn’t stick and place in the freezer overnight or until solid, then working quickly, break into chunks and throw them into a large resealable bag to dip into for use later.  It works brilliantly baked from frozen inside the olive oil dough; just make sure you freeze it in small enough clumps.

If eating straight away, the traditional manner is to add a slurp of barbecue sauce and stuff it in a burger bun to eat with coleslaw but it also goes fantastically well over rice (loosened with any leftover liquid), on a baked potato or in a burrito, and, of course, baked inside olive oil dough to make a perfect picnic or packed lunch – in slices, even party food.

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Yet another riff on my olive oil dough theme: I call it inside-out pissaladière as this one contains home-made onion confit, flaked tuna and a sprinkle of capers.  I ate it – just catching a last morsel for this snap – for lunch then made another variation for Mr T’s tomorrow but this time added a few anchovies and a scatter of Waitrose’s frozen Grilled Peppers for an antioxidant+fibre hit & run.  Made in a toaster oven it’s convenient and economical; two of my favourite things.  Oh, and very very tasty.
Brush with olive oil halfway through (200C for 30 mins) for a deliciously friable crust .
inside-out pissaladiere

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sesame crusted bouleJust sharing my latest effort – a boule made with olive oil dough, cornflour wash and sprinkled with sesame seeds. 

I’m starting to get the hang of the all-important “slash” technique.  Note those wonderful gluten strands, result of a slow rise: you won’t get this from a bread machine.

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Mr T reminded me that it’s all very well going on about my fabulous dough discovery but there’s not much point unless I eventually share the secret, so – in good time for summer – here’s a wonderful recipe for:

Olive Oil Dough

(my respectful adaptation of a recipe in
 Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François)
 

  • 650 ml lukewarm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dried yeast (or 50g fresh – I buy mine from Carrefour in France, then freeze)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sel gris de Guérande (my favourite, but any coarse salt will do)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1600 ml unbleached all-purpose flour (I don’t know how much this weighs – will get back to you!)
    1. Pour the water into a lidded (not airtight) food container and sprinkle on the yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil.  Give it a swirl to mix.
    2. Add the flour, stir it in with a wooden spoon until it becomes a fairly homogenous mass with no dry bits.
    3. Cover (but do not seal) with the lid and leave it at room temperature approximately 2 hours (until the dough has risen and collapsed).
    4. Either: use immediately, or
    5. refrigerate in its container, leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow air circulation, and use over the next 12 days.

    When you wish to bake your bread (this dough is designed for flatbreads [eg focaccia, fougasse, pizza etc.] so don’t expect a high-rise sandwich loaf):

    • oil a medium-sized baking tray or swiss roll tin with olive oil (don’t waste pricey extra virgin here!)
    • with wet or olive-oily hands to stop the dough from sticking, scoop out a handful weighing approximately 500g (but don’t get out your scales unless you enjoy making a mess)
    • form into a ball and then, as the pizza guys do, use its own weight to gently stretch without tearing: when it is too thin to take the strain without holing place it in the centre of your oiled tray and gently ease it towards the sides and corners.  It will relax and expand over the next little while.
    • start heating oven to 200C (or as high as it will go if making pizza)

    Then what you do with it really depends on what you’re after – dimple with your fingers, strew with chopped rosemary and salt then “drizzle” (yikes – did I really say that?) with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil for classic focaccia; make it into a circle and apply pizza toppings, or for something really exciting, check out the method for a Spanish flavoured fougasse in my chorizo & olive bread post.

    Finally, bake your bread for about 20 minutes; because of the oil content you will get a crispy rather than crusty-crunchy crust, and light golden browning.  If you wait until it resembles a loaf it will be overdone, and for pizza keep the dough thin; it will need 10-15 minutes or less cooking time.  Serve warm or cool; today or tomorrow if it lasts that long.

    I was so impressed with this American pair’s basic recipe for artisan bread featured in The Mercury News that I ordered their book via Amazon.co.uk and I’m so glad I did – it’s packed with extra information and lots of recipes for a number of different doughs and their permutations.  In the short time since I acquired it I have been inspired repeatedly – this book is a keeper.

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    So with the hot weather holding, the olive oil dough persisting and some slightly sinewy chorizo from Lidl haunting the ‘fridge, what better to make than chorizo and olive bread for a tasty lunch?

    Just grab a handful of dough from the big batch container (first having floured one’s hands), tidy it by folding under into a ball, press onto an oiled tin and gently stretch to flatten.  Take your slices of chorizo (wide and thin, not the chunky cooking sort) and overlap them in a line down the centre of your dough rectangle.  Sprinkle a few stoned olives down each side and then bring up the sides of dough to meet across and form a swaddling blanket for the filling.

    Not very pretty, is it? If your dough is as floppy as mine it will stretch and thin to reveal the odd olive but no matter.  The idea is a riff on the Provençal fougasse – the variations are limitless once you take that on board – so instead of herbes de Provence, strew the top with a little orange zest, crumbled chilli and roughly crushed fennel seed to go with the Spanish flavours of the chorizo (this delicious trio also aid digestibility as it’s a fairly oily affair).  Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes, cool slightly and serve in slices with a sharp salad if you have one (last night’s chicory in orange juice in this case!) or wrap and take to work or a picnic.

     Oh dear, it’s all gone now.  We liked it so much I made another but that’s gone too.  Watch this space for the next batch of olive oil dough!

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    Remember my original loaf?  Well, to match the summer weather of late I made a batch of olive oil dough and created this marvelous taleggio and grilled vegetable roulade for Mr T’s team meeting.  Good thing we nibbled some beforehand as there were no leftovers.
    olive oil dough, taleggio, grilled vegetables

    It’s a ball of dough rolled around some cubed taleggio and thawed grilled vegetable mix from Waitrose, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with Maldon salt flakes.  Oh, and then it’s baked at high temperature for a half hour or so.  A big success – simple, quick, healthy and delicious sliced for picnics … and team meetings.

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