Onion, red pepper and herb bread

Onion, red pepper and herb bread

How to Cook Bread
Peter Cassidy

To save time, this bread can also be made using jars of grilled or roasted peppers in oil, available from supermarkets. You could also crumble 85g feta into the cold filling before placing on the dough. You will need a 30 x 20cm shallow baking tin.


Quantity Ingredient

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
1 large onion
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 red peppers
handful thyme sprigs
handful basil sprigs
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

For the bread

Quantity Ingredient
30g fresh yeast
250ml tepid water
450g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to grease and drizzle
thyme sprigs, to finish


  1. Heat the grill to its highest setting. Halve, peel and finely slice the onion and peel and crush the garlic. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the sliced onions. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft but not coloured, about 25 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the peppers into quarters and remove the seeds, then arrange, skin side up, over a large baking sheet that will fit under the grill. Grill the peppers, in batches if necessary, until the skins are black and blistered. Put them in a bowl, cover tightly with cling film and leave to steam for 10 minutes, to loosen their skins. Chop enough thyme and basil leaves to give you 2 tbsp of each.
  3. Skin the peppers and cut them into thick slices. Add them with the sugar to the onions, increase the heat and allow the peppers and onions to caramelise a little. Add the vinegar and chopped herbs. Boil off any liquid, then season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the dough, dissolve the yeast in the tepid water. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the dissolved yeast and the oil. Quickly mix the ingredients to form a dough, then knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
  5. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Oil the baking tin.
  6. Tip the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. Roll out one half, using a rolling pin, to a rectangle the size and shape of the baking tin. Ease it into the tin and stretch it a little, if necessary, to cover the base. Cover with the pepper and onion mixture and roll the other piece of dough out to the same size. Carefully lay it on top, excluding as much air as possible. Press down and seal the edges with a little water, using a pastry brush. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C.
  7. When the dough feels soft and pillowy, make indentations over the surface with your fingers. Drizzle oil into the holes and insert thyme sprigs. Bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes until it sounds hollow when tapped on the underside. Carefully lift the loaf onto a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares to serve.
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