1 tbsp fast action dried yeast
600ml/20fl oz warm water, plus extra for the yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1kg/2lb 4oz strong bread flour
olive oil, for greasing
knob of butter, for greasing
60ml/2fl oz extra virgin olive oil
350g/12oz feta, crumbled
pinch freshly ground black pepper
handful fresh mint, chopped
1 free-range egg, beaten
Dissolve the yeast in a little of the warm water. Add the sugar and gently mix.
Mix the flour and salt, then place in a pile onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre of the flour.
Add the remaining water and the yeast mixture to the well in the flour and mix, from the centre outwards, to form a dough.
Knead the dough for 7-8 minutes, until it stops being sticky. (The dough is ready when it stretches out between your hands without breaking.)
Oil a bowl with the olive oil and place the dough into it. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for at least two hours. The mixture should double in size during this time.
Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface and, using your hands, knock it back, to reduce the size of the dough.
Add the oil, feta, freshly ground black pepper and mint and knead into the dough, until completely combined.
Divide the dough into four equal-sized portions, then shape into loaves.
Place the loaves onto a floured baking tray. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise at room temperature for 40-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4.
Brush the loaves with the beaten egg.
Place into the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through and golden-brown. Remove and leave to cool.
For the honeyed dates, place the butter and honey into a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and add the dates and pistachios and cook for two minutes.
To serve, slice the loaves and serve the honeyed dates in a bowl alongside.
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