Tapenade flatbreads with white bean puree and fried capers

Tapenade flatbreads with white bean puree and fried capers

Amp up the classic ‘bread and dip’. These flatbreads have a spiral of black tapenade through them, and are excellent with more subtly flavoured dips like this bean puree. To cook the flatbreads, you’ll need a solid iron or steel griddle, or an uncoated old-fashioned frying pan, as the non-stick finishes aren’t to be used over very high heats.


For the tapenade flatbreads

300g warm water

7g sachet fast-acting yeast

500g white bread flour, plus extra for rolling

10g fine salt


150g pitted, dry-ish black olives

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

25 small capers, rinsed if salted

50g olive oil, plus extra to finish

1 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

For the white bean puree, fried capers

400g tin cannellini or butter beans

1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed

1/2 tsp dried oregano

125g lemon juice

1 tsp salt

75g tahini

75g olive oil, plus extra for frying

25g capers

1 tsp anise seeds


For flatbreads

1. Put the water in a bowl, whisk in the yeast then add the flour and salt. Knead well together then cover and leave for 10 minutes. Lightly knead the dough once more, briefly, then cover and leave for an hour. The dough will be rolled a few times later on, so it doesn’t really need much kneading at this point.

2. Make the tapenade by putting all the ingredients in a small food processor and puree until quite smooth but with someolive texture. Scoop the dough out onto a floured work top and roll it out to a rectangle, about one centimetre thick (the dimensions don’t really matter). Spread half the tapenade (125 grams) over the dough and save the remainder for serving. Roll the dough up tightly like a Swiss roll and leave covered for 15 minutes.

3. Get a flat griddle or uncoated steel frying pan hot on the stove top. Cut about a two centimetre wide roll of dough from the length, flour it very well and bash it flattish with the heel of your hands. Now just roll it out using lots of flour until it’s about 5mm thick. 

4. Using a pastry brush, dab the top of the dough with oil, peel it off the work top and slap it oil-side down on the griddle. Dab the upside of the flatbread with a little oil while it cooks then flip it with a spatula and cook the other side. Cook the remainder in the same way and stack them on top of each other once cooked. Either serve straight away, store in the fridge and warm in the oven to serve, or freeze for another day.

To make the puree dip and capers

1. Drain the beans, tip into a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes then drain well. This blanching gives a cleaner flavour and pureeing the beans while warm helps to give a smoother texture.

2. Place the hot beans into a food processor with the garlic, oregano, lemon juice and salt and puree until very smooth. Add the tahini, blend well, then pour in the oil in a thin stream as the machine is running. Scoop the puree into a bowl, cover and chill to firm it slightly until serving time.

3. In a small saucepan, fry the capers until crisp with about 50 grams of olive oil, then scoop them out and drain on paper towel. To serve swirl the puree in a dish, spoon over a little of the caper frying oil, sprinkle with the fried capers and anise seeds and serve with the warm flatbreads.

*Tip: The tapenade recipe makes double what you’ll need, but it’s harder to get the consistency right if you only make a little. If you want to use ready-made, you’ll need 125 grams.