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Author Notes: A spongy and crusty summer bread, loaded with lemon and lemon thyme pesto. You'll just keep on tearing away. —Tobi @ brag&butter
Makes 1 loaf
bread spice & dough
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 0.5 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 0.25 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 500 grams regular wheat flour
- 0.25 cube fresh yeast
- 300 milliliters lukewarm water
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- zest of 1/2 untreated lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- zest of 1.5 untreated lemons
- 1 clove garlic
- 5 or more sprigs lemon thyme
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- black pepper
- Grind the spices for the bread spice with the salt in a mortar (or whatever tool you prefer). Sift the flour on a surface or in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the bread spice and the lemon zest, then make a well in the centre and add the olive oil and the yeast mixture. Add some of the water (about half of it) and begin forming a dough with your hands (you can use a kitchen machine, of course – but I always feel a yeast dough needs the warmth of hands and a wooden surface underneath) and gradually add water until a soft dough is formed. Knead for ten minutes or so, until the dough is elastic. I like “tearing” in apart (see photo) and then rolling it back together. Cover with cling or a damp kitchen towel and leave to prove in a warm and draft-free space for about 1 hour or until it’s about double its original size.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pesto for the filling by simply grinding the lemon peel, garlic clove, and lemon thyme in a mortar, then add the olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside.
- When the dough is proven enough, punch it down and divide into 2 equal portions, and divide those into about 10 (the exact number doesn’t matter – just make sure you have an even number in the end) portions and form those into discs. Divide the pesto (safe 1 tsp) on half of your discs, then put a plain disc on top and slightly press the edges. Grease a square baking tin (mine measures 24x10,5x7cm) and stack the filled discs in horizontally, pressing them together. Cover again with cling or a damp kitchen towel and leave to prove for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C top and bottom heat. Brush the top of the bread with the rest of the pesto, then bake on middle shelf for about 30 minutes, until it is golden brown and crusty. Be sure to not open the oven for at least (!) 15 minutes after you first close it. You can check if it’s done by tapping on the base (done when it sounds hollow) or piercing the loaf with a needle (no sticky dough when removed from the loaf).