Carrot, Cheese and Olive Bread Recipe

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This carrot, cheese and olive bread recipe is adapted from a recipe in Jack Monroe’s latest cookbook, A Year in 120 Recipes. I’ve followed her blog, A Girl Called Jack, for a few years and love both her cookbooks. I so appreciate Jack’s attitude towards frugal cooking and her laid back recipes that embrace using up whatever you’ve got left in your fridge, rather than sending you on an exhausting hunt through supermarkets, desperate to track down obscure ingredients.

Jack’s recipe uses squash, but I had some carrots that needed using up so I made the bread with those instead. If you’ve got any leftover pumpkin, I think it would be great to use in this bread too! I was thrilled with how it turned out, especially considering how easy it is to throw together (no kneading! no proving! you don’t even need a tin!). If you’re aiming to impress, I’d recommend making this loaf. For one thing, the combination of bread, olives and cheese baking makes the whole house smell INCREDIBLE, and it’s so easy to make it will leave you completely unruffled, looking like the next Nigella (well, one can but hope). And who doesn’t love a slice of bread still warm from the stove? I like to serve this with some good quality olive oil as a delicious pre-supper snack.

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Olive, Cheese and Carrot Bread Recipe:

You will need:

2-3 medium sized carrots
50g cheddar cheese (or another hard, strong cheese),plus a little extra for scattering
4 tablespoons black olives, plus a few extra
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
300g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
a pinch of salt
2eggs
a splash of milk

Preheat the oven to 190° C (170°C fan; 375° F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Peel and grate the carrots. Grate the cheese and slice the olives. Pick the leaves off a fistful of rosemary and chop finely, making sure you have enough to fill 1 tablespoon. Pour the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and add the carrots, cheese, olives and the rosemary. Mix briefly to combine the ingredients.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture and crack in the eggs. Add a splash of milk and mix to form a large ball of dough. If it’s too dry, add a little more milk, and if it’s too sticky, add some more flour. I found it a little dry at first and had to add more milk. Use your judgement as to the feel: the dough should be slightly sticky, but not impossible to get off your fingers.

Shape the dough into a loaf and place it on the lined baking tray. Dust it with a little flour, scatter some more grated cheddar on top, make a cut down the middle with a sharp knife and dot around with olives. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, or until it feels fairly light and is hollow sounding when you tap the bottom.

I always so enjoy making my own bread – it feels so satisfying! Do you have any bread recipes that are particular favourites?