- 800 g strong bread flour , plus extra for dusting
- 1 x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
- 100 g stale breadcrumbs
FOR THE BUTTER:
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 500 g unsalted butter , (at room temperature)
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley , (30g)
- 1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Put the flour, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sea salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in 550ml of tepid water, continuously stirring and bringing in the flour from the outside as you go to form a rough dough.
- Transfer to a flour-dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and springy. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, make the butter – this is a big batch, to make good use of your time, and you can freeze the extra for rainy days. Use a garlic crusher to crush the garlic into the softened butter, finely grate over the zest of ½ a lemon, finely chop and add the parsley (stalks and all), the cayenne and a pinch of salt, then mix it all together.
- Remove one quarter to use in this recipe, then place the rest on a sheet of greaseproof paper, roll it up into a log and twist the ends like a Christmas cracker, then pop into the freezer.
- After 30 minutes, get the butter out and slice it up to pre-portion, then re-roll and return to the freezer, where it will keep very happily for up to 6 months.
- Spread one third of your soft butter portion all around the base and sides of a large metal tray (25cm x 35cm), then scatter in the breadcrumbs and shake around into an even layer so they stick to the butter.
- Divide up the dough into 35 pieces, then, one-by-one, roll each one into a ball and place in the tray in rows – 5 balls across and 7 balls long is perfect.
- Bomb over another third of the soft butter, in and around the balls. Leave to prove for another 1 hour 30 minutes, or until doubled in size again.
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.
- Sprinkle the balls with a little salt, then bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, or until lovely and golden.
- Bomb over that final third of your soft butter and spread it around to give the bread a beautiful shine.