Kumara & Olive Bread


1 good sized Kumara, 250 – 300 g peeled & cut into 2cm diced

2 tsp grape seed oil

1 tsp fennel seeds, plus extra to garnish


330 g bread flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp caster sugar

¾ tsp dried yeast

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing

250 ml water

1 tsp salt

150g kalamata olives, pitted & coarsely chopped


Heat a large frypan over high heat. Toss the diced kumara in a bowl with grape seed oil to coat, then transfer to the hot frypan. Fry, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelised (5 – 7 mins). Add the fennel seeds and stir until fragrant (1 – 2 mins). Season to taste and set aside to cool.

Combine the flour, sugar and yeast in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, and mix till just combined. Add the olive oil, water and salt, mix until a soft dough forms. Set aside in an oiled bowl in a warm place, covered, until doubled in size.

Fold the cold kumara and olives loosely through the dough with your hands, knocking it back at the same time.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a rough 45cm long cylinder. Transfer to a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray, bring the ends together overlapping a little, and press to seal. Set aside uncovered in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 250°C. Brush bread lightly with olive oil and scatter with fennel seeds. Spray oven with water before placing bread in. Bake for 15 mins, then reduce heat to 180°C. Bake, turning the tray once, until golden and crusty (10 – 15 mins). Cool briefly on a wire rack (5 mins).

Serve warm with butter. Loaf is best eaten on the day it’s made.