• Fig and olive-tapenade star bread is a gorgeous addition to any table. The beautiful pattern deserves to be shown off, so why not place it as the centerpiece for a special occasion? This bread is light, salty, and earthy. 

    Fig and olive-tapenade star bread

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 1 hr + 2 hrs, to prove


    • 500g white bread flour + extra, to dust
    • 1 x 7g sachet Anchor Instant Yeast
    • 10g fine salt
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
    • 300ml water
    • egg wash, to brush
    • Fig and olive tapenade

    • 50g dried figs
    • 60ml (¼ cup) Kalamata olives, pitted
    • 60ml (¼ cup) green olives, pitted
    • 15ml – 30ml (1 tbsp – 2 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil + extra, if needed
    • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 5ml (1 tsp) balsamic vinegar
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • whipped goat’s cheese, to serve (see ‘Cook’s tip’)



    Make a bread dough by mixing the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, then gradually add the water until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead by hand until the dough turns silky and stretchy, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside to double in size, 1 hour.


    In the meantime, make the tapenade. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until roughly chopped, adding more olive oil if necessary, until a spreadable consistency is achieved. Set aside.


    When risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead to knock the dough back. Shape the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces then roll out each piece into a 20cm round. Spread 3 of the rounds with the tapenade. Stack them on top of each other then lace a dinner plate on top and trim to form a neat circle. Remove the plate. Mark a centre ring using a cup or glass then cut from the inside out to form quarters. (Find an illustrated guide below). Cut each of the quarters into 4, so it looks like the face of a clock. Working with one dough quarter at a time, twist the piece twice clockwise. Then twist the piece next to it twice anticlockwise. Repeat until all of the pieces are twisted. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place to prove until double in size, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 200°C.


    Brush the bread with egg wash and bake in the oven until golden, 25 – 35 minutes. It is ready when it makes a hollow sound when tapped. Serve the bread warm with a side of the whipped goat’s cheese and any leftover tapenade.


    Cook's tip: To make the whipped goat’s cheese, place a 100g log of goat’s cheese in a small bowl with 15ml (1 tbsp) full-cream yoghurt and blend with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Season well and refrigerate before serving.

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