It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As the entire country gears up to eat, drink and be merry, the pressure is on to up the ante with festive eats.

Chickens are being rubbed, potatoes are being peeled by the thousands and gammons are glistening in every trolley. This year, we say buck tradition! It’s sweltering out for Pete’s sake. Do a big spread of fresh salads, cold meats, and freshly baked bread; camp out under the trees and make sure the bubbly is cold!

Here’s our sneaky little recipe for an olive bread that looks super fancy, but is actually ridiculously easy to make. Now go forth and have a fuss-free festive season.

Olive and rosemary Focaccia

Serves 4

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • Roughly 300 ml of lukewarm water
  • 1 packet of dried yeast
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • Rosemary, olives and garlic

Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add the yeast, salt, sugar and oil. Add water bit by bit and mix gently with your hand until the dough comes away from the sides and your hands. Knead gently for 5 minutes, drizzle liberally with olive oil and cover with plastic. Leave in a warm place to pr00f until doubled in size.

Knock down gently and fold in halves until resistance in elasticity is felt. Prepare a baking tray by lightly oiling the base and sides using olive oil. Transfer the dough to the baking tray. Spread out evenly using the palm of your hands and gently expel the gas from the dough (you’ll notice that the dough is airy). Drizzle some olive oil over the surface of the dough using your fingertips; ‘dimple’ the dough ensuring that you don’t press all the way through to the base. Place rosemary, olives and garlic into dimples and drizzle well with olive oil.

Allow to proof for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size and bake in a 180 degrees Celsius oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Allow bread to cool and slice. Serve with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Note:

African Relish Cooking school shared this delicious recipe with Eatsplorer. This cooking school, stressed out city slickers and keen cooks alike have been honing their kitchen skills and getting to know the unique flavours of the Karoo for over ten years. Their immersive 3-day cook and stay experience exclusively bookable on Eatsplorer allows you to get fully engrossed in the tiny town’s culture and eat like a king in the process.

Or for a delicious Karoo cooking experience focussed on the taste and cooking secrets of free-range lamb, fresh figs, and top-notch cheese their cook and stay experience will not disappoint!

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Production: Eatsplorer | Photography: Kleinjan Groenewalt