Have you ever stood at the kitchen counter with a slab of butter in front of you and a butter knife in your hand and eaten half a loaf of bread? I have.
Cheese Olive and Buttermilk Herb Bread
slightly adapted from Belinda Jeffery's Mix & Bake
335g plain flour (I used "00" flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (I used Pink Himalaya salt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
60g Parmesan, grated
60g Cheddar, grated
75g stuffed green olive, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs for top
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
egg wash: 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 31 x 11 x 7.5cm loaf tin with baking paper. Set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and mustard powder in a large bowl. Mix them well. Add the cheeses, olives, chives and thyme leaves and stir.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs together. Add the olive oil and buttermilk and whisk to combine.
Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until it becomes a thick sticky batter. Scrape it into the prepared tin and brush the top with egg wash. Strew the top with extra thyme sprigs and bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the loaf to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.