Olive Oil bread is fantastic to eat with anything, but goes particularly well with pasta and any Italian food. My great friend big Tony showed me how to make the tastiest olive oil bread in the whole world, and it actually tastes better than anything I have ever had served to me in a restaurant. My mate big tony is a panel beater of Sicilian background but he cooks like a professional chef and his family own a well-known Italian restaurant in our city.
I thought I should explain all that because when you eat the finished product it really will blow your mind, and you are going to be left wondering how a panel beater could pass on a recipe like the one below.
Tony had me write all of the ingredients down and do some shopping before calling over to his place. All I had to do was turn up with a carton of persona beer and receive a cooking lesson like no other. My shopping list had me picking up the following items dry yeast, white sugar, flour, olive oil(best you can find) and of course the persona so Tony and I could get a little drunk as we made the olive oil bread.
Cooking with Tony felt a little like being in a scene from the God Father. We had Sinatra playing loudly as we through our ingredients around on the bench and began to create bread that tastes like no other. So anyway, we laid our ingredients out on the bench.
Step one: Heat a half cup of water to about 120 degrees and then mix four tablespoons of olive oil. One teaspoon of sugar, one teaspoon of salt and a half spoon of active dry yeast. All in a large bowl and then mix in well with the warm water.
Step two: tip two, a bit cups of flour into the bowl, and use your hands to make a soft ball. Take your time with this step and really kneed your hands around until you have a soft perfectly formed ball.
Step three: Add additional flour to ensure that your ball becomes soft and easy to kneed.
Step four: Place your perfectly round ball into a really well greased bowl. Place a cover completely over the bowl and leave it for exactly ten minutes. It will have almost doubled in size by then.
Step five: Once you return shape your bread anyway you like. Tony showed me in a way that left the dough in a large perfect ball shape. Place the ball or whatever you have created on a greased up piece of paper and cover again, this time leaving for half an hour. Again allowing the bread to rise.
My suggestion at this point is to drink two quality beers as it will help with the creative process and it will make the bread taste better in the end I promise.
Step six: Have you oven preheated to 390 degrees and then place the bread into the oven and leave for exactly 32 minutes. Your bread will have a lovely glow about it at this point.
Step seven: break two eggs in a bowl and whisk for 3 minutes, then brush two spoons of egg onto your bread and place back in the oven for a further 4 minutes.
The result will be bread that tastes like it was made in heaven or maybe even a prison in Italy. Either way I am confident you will love how this bread tastes and when big Tony offered to teach me how he cooked pasta I was there in a heartbeat.