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Well it is frugal January and some are tightening their purse strings, wallets and waists, myself included.  I thought why not have a workout with dough making a super frugal economical meal.  Also any excuse to open a jar of  Kalamata olives! They are gorgeous meaty fruity olives from Greece and far superior in my opinion to any other black olive.  The garlic in the picture was marinated in some sort of Portuguese sherry for years, and was awful. I bought it at a market but we ended up picking it all off in the end. Roast the garlic or just use raw slivers thinly sliced.  In the summer, I prove dough in the car on a warm day (odd I know) but I found it proves and rises in half the time.  An airing cupboard / hot press in the winter or beside a lit fire.  Placing the metal bowl over the pilot light on a gas hob works either.  I made homemade spicy wedges with this and lemon aioli which I forgot to photo but use whatever you like and experiment with toppings – rosemary works well too instead of basil/parsley.

240 ml warm water + 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons sugar

500g strong flour or ‘00’ flour

1 sachet or 1 teaspoon dried yeast

1 tablespoon sea salt

60ml olive oil

Flour or Semolina (optional) for sprinkling

Toppings: 

olive oil

     4 cloves roasted garlic or raw garlic slivers

    8 – 10 Kalamata black olives, pitted and halved

   grated parmesan or Ardrahan cheese

   Finely chopped parsley or torn basil

Combine the yeast with the warm water and sugar and whip to a froth. Let stand for a minute or two while weighing the other ingredients.

Add the flour to the bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.

Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of warm water and add it also.

Pour in the olive oil. Slowly incorporate the flour into the mixture (I love this warm sloppy bit!)

Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and continue to knead for a minute until shaped into a round.

Place in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil.

Cover with cling film and a tea- towel place the bowl in a warm airing cupboard or a nearby stove to rise, about 45 minutes to one hour until doubled in size.

Turn it out onto a lightly floured board or worktop.

Roll the dough flat to about an inch thick.

Drizzle an oven tray with olive oil and then semolina (if using) and place the flattened dough on. If using a pizza stone just sprinkle on semolina.

Make dimples with your fingertips in the dough.

In each dimple place a halved and pitted Kalamata olive with some roasted garlic or garlic slivers.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Leave to rest for 20 minutes until it rises a little again.

Sprinkle on parsley, basil or chives and grated parmesan.

Drizzle generously with olive oil and bake for 10 – 15 minutes.

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