Ingredients:

  • 250g stoneground wholemeal strong bread flour

  • 250g strong white bread flour

  • 10g instant yeast

  • Slug of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

  • Up to 400ml of tepid water

  • 150g rinsed and dried black olives, chopped or left whole

*Tip* knead your bread by hand! Someone clever worked out it burns around 70 calories in ten minutes, and tones your shoulders and arms. Boom. 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 fan.

  • Put the flour into a large mixing bowl, followed by the yeast and the slug of oil. 

  • Add half of the water and use one of your hands to mix together, adding more water until it forms into a dough ball and the sides of the bowl are clean. You may need more or less water. I sometimes find I need more with wholemeal as it can be quite 'thirsty'. Don't let the dough get too sloppy though.

  • Knead in the bowl or on the side until the dough is smooth and elastic. It could take 15 minutes or so. If you're using a mixer and dough hook, (you're living the dream), wait until you have a smooth lump weaving around the bowl. 

  • Add the olives and knead through until distributed. 

  • Use a tiny bit of oil (olive or rapeseed) to lightly grease a big bowl, and put the dough inside. Cover with greased cling film. 

  • Leave to prove for at least an hour or longer, in a fairly warm, but not hot, area. It will double in size, plus!

  • Tip out onto a surface dusted with flour and semolina and knock the air out of the dough. Give it a quick knead, before divide into as may little balls as you'd like.

  • Roll the balls into sausages and stretch out slightly. Make sure there's lots of olives in there. 

  • Leave to prove for another 30 minutes to let them them puff back up. 

  • Bake on a lined sheet for 12-15 minutes (check they're golden and give them a little tap, to check for the hollow sound) and they will be delightfully fluffy inside.

Makes 12 - 15 generous sticks 

Olive breadsticks

Health

  • Using stoneground wholemeal flour gives the bread a lower GI index, which means it has a lesser affect on your blood sugar, which is believed to have an impact on cardiovascular disease.

  • Wholegrains provide a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. 

  • Fibre aids digestion. 

  • Wholegrains can even help prevent the body from absorbing 'bad cholesterol', and lower triglycerides, a form of dietary fat in meat, dairy and cooking oils. 

  • Olives are a source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help lower the bad cholesterol in our blood. 

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