with olives or cheese

My baking seemed to be going the "sweet way" lately, and I started missing the smell of freshly baked bread in my kitchen. I prepared everything to make my quick version of Pain d'Epi, which I kept prolonging, when my daughter came into the kitchen with Paul Hollywood's recipe for the olive breadsticks. "Make them with cheddar, pretty please!" was the cry.

So, Pain d'Epi  was once again left to wait in a queue and the breadsticks made by currently the most popular British baker found their way into my kitchen. I divided the dough into two and made the breadsticks with cheddar cheese as well as with black olives, although the original recipe calls for the green pitted olives.

Seeing as they were devoured within an hour, I am not in a position to tell you what their shelf-life is. However, this should not, by any means, discourage you from making them!


1 kg strong white flour
20 gr salt
20 gr fast-action dried yeast
800 ml warm water
4 table spoons olive oil
1 kg pitted green olives (I used 350 g black olives)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese 
semolina for dusting

If you are not using fast action yeast, start with dissolving it and making it active. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and mix it with salt and most of the water (reserve one quarter). Add the dissolved yeast and start mixing it with the dough hook on a slow speed (if you are using a free-standing mixer, that is). As soon as the dough starts to come together, add the rest of the water and continue mixing for 5 to 10 minutes at medium speed. Add the olive oil and mix to combine.

If you are using olives or cheese only, add it now and slowly mix with a spoon. If you decide to have a bit of both, as I did, divide into two batches and add the olives to one and cheese to the other. Add small amounts first because you may prefer not to have a very strong-flavoured bread (although I recommend that you do).
Grease 2 plastic bowls, place the slightly oiled dough in, cover with cling film and leave until tripled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F/ gas 7 
Dust the worktop and the dough with flour and semolina and gently stretch it to a rectangle about 25 x 35 x 1 cm in size. Using a large knife, cut about 18 strips. Bake in batches for 10 to 15 minutes.

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