La Pompe a l'Huile - Sweet Olive Oil Bread

La Pompe a l'Huile is a cross between brioche and focaccia.  You need to allow enough time for the dough to rise, but it is otherwise a very simple recipe.  Nothing is more rewarding than the scent of your own freshly baked bread perfuming the house!

Makes one 12-inch round

  • 1 pkg (7gr / 2¼ tsp) active dried yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (temperature of most household hot tap water)
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably a fruity flavoured one
  • 1 Tbsp orange flower water
  • 1 egg yolk

Mix yeast and 1 Tbsp sugar with the warm water and set aside so that the yeast activates and becomes bubbly. If it doesn't bubble up after a few minutes, the yeast may be old, or the water was too hot or too cold. Try again.

Sift flour, remaining sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Add the yeast slurry, olive oil, and orange flower water; stir with a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Add a touch of water if the dough is too dry to knead.

Wipe a little bit of oil around the inside of the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 3 - 4 hours.

La Pompe a l'Huile

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place the ball of dough on the parchment paper and press down with your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a round approximately 12" in diameter and ¾" thick.

With a sharp knife, cut four slits in the bread starting about an inch from the middle to an inch from the edge. Gently pull the slits apart until they are about 2 inches wide; they will close up a bit when cooking. Spread egg yolk on the top of the loaf with a pastry brush.  

Bake on the middle rack in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  

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