I have adapted Antonina’s recipes, using beer instead of water, for a slightly more robust flavor and to allow the natural yeast in beer to rise the bread slightly in the oven. Also, I have used a locally produced EVOO, so rich and intense its color is a vibrant hue of emerald green.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2-1/2 cups of OO flour (or plain flour)+ some for heading the dough
3/4 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (I know, it’s a little extravagant, but it will impart the bread the most beautiful flavor. I wouldn’t advise replacing it for vegetable oil)
a little less than 3/4 cup of beer
1-1/2 teaspoons of salt
Combine flour, oil, beer and salt in a bowl, and mix with a spoon until a dough forms. Knead the dough onto floured surface for 3-4 minutes until soft and smooth.
It should be pliable and a little softer than egg-pasta dough. If it feels too sticky add a little extra flour. If too dry, add a little extra beer.
Oil a baking dish and flatten the dough onto it. Score the dough with a pastry cutter to create a criss-cross pattern.
Once the bread is baked and slightly cooled, the scoring will make it easier to cut in chunks. Bake at 200 C (395 F), conventional oven, for 30-35 minutes or until the top is bronzed and crunchy.
Cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, then carefully lift out of the baking dish, break up into chunks and serve with cold cuts of meat and cheese for the ultimate antipasto.
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