Whenever I am in London, I always head to 'Bread Ahead' at Borough market to pick up one of their cheese and olive sticks. I love the dense chewy texture of the bake and the rich savoury taste that comes from the strong cheese and the pungent olives. It's probably my favourite savoury bake of all time, but as I don't live in London at the moment, I can't pick them up as often as I would like. I have given them a go at home before, but this recipe is more of a perfected version (though it certainly isn't perfect). This bake is not exactly the same as the original, but still just as tasty. Enjoy one instead of a sandwich for a portable lunch.
Makes 4 fat sticks.
For the sticks:
250 strong white flour
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the topping:
About 20 olives (pitted)
75g cheddar cheese, grated
Semolina, for dusting
Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast.
Add the salt, oil and water and mix to form a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Place the dough onto an oiled surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until it feels smooth and elastic.
Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a tea towel.
Leave the dough to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, cut it into 4 equal pieces and roll each one into a long sausage shape.
Sprinkle some semolina onto a large rectangle baking tray and place the sticks on it, leaving plenty of room between each one.
Cover with a tea towel and leave for around 10 minutes, or until they have puffed up a little.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the sticks are ready, sprinkle some more semolina on top and press down a few olives into each one.
Sprinkle over the cheese and bake for around 15 minutes, or until they have turned a nice golden brown colour.
Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.
Tip- this recipe works best if you add steam to your oven, click here to see how.