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.
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.