I live by myself in a tiny one bedroom flat. I absolutely adore it. I loved living with my friends, of course, and we had so so much fun together. But it is also nice to come home and know that I can do whatever I want, I can make as much mess in the kitchen as I please and no one can complain about it.
Yes, I love living alone.
But the one time of the week when I start to feel loneliness creeping in is Sunday evening. When I’ve been hanging around the flat all day by myself, the hours of solitude can start to take their toll.
The best cure for the Sunday evening by yourself blues, I’ve found, is baking bread. Bread is sort of like a very needy friend. You have to tend to it, love it, massage it occasionally, leave it alone for an hour or two, go back and check up on it… It’s time consuming and the perfect distraction from an empty, albeit tiny, flat.
These breadsticks are a perfect Sunday evening project. And they are delish. They are sort of like soft, mini baguettes crammed full of olives. What’s not to love?
500g strong white bread flour
10g fast action yeast
400ml warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g olives of your choice
Put the flour in a large bowl or a mixer. Put the yeast on one side of the bowl and the salt on the other. Add about three quarters of the water and mix until the dough starts to come together. As it comes together, add the rest of the water.
Knead for at least 10 minutes. It should be wet and stretchy. Mix in the olive oil, and then add the olives. Keep mixing until they are evenly distributed.
Put the dough into an oiled bowl and leave to rise for at least an hour or until tripled in size. It should be full of air holes.
Once it has risen, tip the dough out onto a floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with more flour, and gently stretch into a rectangle. Handle it gently, you don’t want to knock all the air out. Starting at one side, cut the dough into long strips and place on a lined baking tray. Once all the sticks are cut, bake at 220 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and crisp.
They are best eaten warm and dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Enjoy!