Fresh out of the oven, this herby flatbread works equally well on its own, dipped in really good olive oil or eaten as an accompaniment to a plate of antipasta.
- 450g strong white flour
- 2 tsp fast action yeast
- sea salt
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped, plus a few extra sprigs
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 250-300ml warm water
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, stir in the yeast and 1 tsp sea salt. Add the chopped herbs to the flour and then, using a wooden spoon or the dough hooks on your electric beater, beat in the olive oil and enough warm water to make a soft dough. Remove from the bowl onto a board and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
- Brush a clean bowl with oil, put in the dough and cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Leave the dough in a warm place for at least an hour until it has doubled in size.
- Knock back the dough by punching once or twice to let the air escape and divide it into four portions. Roll out into rough oval shapes, about 1cm (1/2in) thick. Place on oiled baking sheets, cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise for a further 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
- Poke the rosemary sprigs into the surface of the breads and scatter generously with sea salt flakes. Drizzle with olive oil, then bake 15-20 minutes. Wrap in clean tea towel to cool. Eat the same day.
You can make this quantity up as one large flat oval-shaped loaf, which will take about 20 minutes to bake. Or alter the flavour by substituting sage, bay leaves or oregano for the rosemary and thyme. You could leave out the herbs altogether and add a handful of chopped olives (black or green, stuffed or not) or cooked red onions or fresh tomato or lime or baked beetroot to the dough.