Sunday, February 14, 2010

Harissa Bread

Harissa is a condiment that I fell in love with when I had a 2 week holiday in Tunisia. There, they serve it with bread and oil at the start of every meal. It's hot and spicy but also really tasty as it's got lots of garlic.

The Real Olive Co do an amazing harissa that they sell at the Temple Bar market in Dublin every Saturday. I think we must have worked our way through a dozen of jars in the last year!

As we always eat our harissa with bread, I thought it would work well as an ingredient in bread and I was right. The resulting bread has a faint hint of the heat and all the flavour and is amazing with cheese.


400g strong white bread flour
125g wholemeal flour
2 tbsp harissa
25ml olive oil
15g fresh yeast
10g salt
325ml water

Place the flours in a large mixing bowl and rub the yeast into the flour.

Add the salt, harissa, oil and water and mix with a spatula until it forms a dough.

Turn out onto a work surface and knead for 8 -10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl and leave, covered, in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

The dough should have doubled in size in this time. Turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface and shape into a loaf.

Turn the oven to 220C at this point.

Place the loaf on a baking sheet, score with a razor blade and allow to rise again for 45 minutes.

Spray the inside of the oven with 15 squirts of water immediately before placing the loaf on the baking sheet inside.

Bake for 25 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

Cool on a wire rack.


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