Some time ago, Belazu was known as the Fresh Olive Company as olives formed the bulk of our trade, but as we sell so many different ingredients now, we don’t often show off all the varieties and combinations of olives that we have. This recipe uses pitted Chilli Rosmarino, as the flavours of the marinade mix into the dough making it taste like a focaccia, whilst the soft pieces of potato are a nice contrast to the chewy olives and both the olive and potato turn into crisp nuggets when they poke through the dough during baking. What you put inside the rolls is up to you, but they are perfect for all kinds of Mediterranean flavours and ingredients. You could also shape the dough into a loaf if you prefer.
Peel and dice the potato into 1-2cm cubes. Place in a small pan, cover with cold water and add a couple of good pinches of salt. Bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until they are soft in the middle, but before they fall apart. Drain and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Mix the water and the yeast in a bowl or jug and whisk to dissolve. Its often a good idea to leave this for 10 minutes to make sure your yeast is still active.
Roughly chop the olives into smaller chunks. If using a variety that come in brine, drain thoroughly and dry with paper towel first, before chopping.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and mix together with your hand. Make a well in the middle and add around half of the water. Stir the water in the bowl with your hand, gradually incorporating the flour from the edges until it becomes the consistency of thick custard. Add the remaining water to the centre of the bowl and keep mixing and bringing in more flour, until it becomes very thick. Now use your hand to bring in the rest of the flour and force it together till you have a sticky dough. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil around the edges of the bowl then knead the dough for a minute, pulling the outer edges up and over the centre of the dough and then turn the bowl and repeating. Add the chopped olives and potato and knead again for 1 minute in the same way. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Drizzle a little oil on your clean work surface then take the dough out of the bowl and knead again for 1 minute. Leave for 10 minutes then repeat again. Now leave to prove for 1 hour, covered or until the dough has doubled in size.
Prepare a large baking sheet (or 2 smaller ones) with baking parchment or a little olive oil and semolina to prevent sticking. Drizzle a little more oil onto your work surface and scrape the dough from the bowl onto it. shape the dough into a long sausage shape about 40cm long then cut into 8 or 10 pieces. Shape into a ball then place on the trays with space left between each roll to allow them to prove. The dough will look rustic and misshapen, with olive oil potato poking through. This is what you want, as it will mean the olives and potatoes crisp up as they are cooked. Once all the rolls have been shaped, cover with a damp cloth, and leave to prove for 60-90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
When ready to cook, heat your oven to 215C fan/235C non-fan. Remove the cloth from the rolls and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown on the outside. If they are split over two trays, swap their positions halfway through cooking. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating on their own or filled with what ever you choose.