Quick Olive Bread

This recipe is an adaptation of Irish Soda Bread. Made in the time it takes the oven to heat up, you can whip this up between morning coffee and Sunday lunch.

Served with home-made Gravlax and pickled vegetables (see below) it was delicious. Spread the bread with butter or mayonnaise, before topping with the gravlax or smoked salmon.

2 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs lemon juice or vinegar
1½ cups plain yoghurt
1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup sliced olives (black or green or a mix)
1-2 tsp salt, to taste
1 Tbs each sunflower seeds and pepitas

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all the ingredients together, except the seeds, in a mixing bowl. Mix until all the dry bits have been incorporated. With floured hands, form into a ball and place on the baking tray. Use hands to shape into a low flattish round as shown in photo. Sprinkle with the seeds and pat them on.

Bake for 45 minutes or until evenly browned. Cool then serve immediately. Any leftovers can be served next day, toasted.

Makes 1 loaf

Variation: use chopped sun dried tomatoes instead of olives or some of each.

Japanese Pickled vegetables: cut vegetables into two-bite pieces and pack into a clean large jar or 2-3 smaller ones – cauliflower florets, red capsicum strips, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, chunks of fennel etc. Heat 1 cup each of sugar, water and cider or white wine vinegar in a saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil and pour over the vegetables. If liked add one or two whole red chillies, then cover with the lid. If you don’t have enough liquid to cover the vegetables, make a bit more, using equal quantities of sugar, water and vinegar. Keep for a few days before using. Store in the fridge.

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