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Great Bread at the Heart of a Meal


A decent piece of bread is the perfect accompaniment to a good meal and is served with every meal in many countries, particularly those following a Mediterranean diet. Making that bread stand out as an interesting addition to the meal is the difference between it being a filler and a delight. In my house, olives are fought over with the kids counting them out like Smarties. Perfect with rosemary and Feta, Vanessa has a recipe below that uses a La Cloche base and is just right for tearing and sharing as the weather warms up and we start eating outside again.

I love rosemary. Related to lavender, its aromatic leaves work beautifully in any bread recipe, but this combination is magical. I’ve blended the flours to produce delicious, chewy bread and given the dough a long fermentation to really boost the flavour. The result is a robust sourdough that can really carry the depth of the olives and rosemary. You will also notice that I have reduced the salt to just 5g and this is simply because there is plenty of salt in the olives, feta and the salt sprinkled on top. If want to you could reduce the salt further, you can drop the sprinkle, but keep it in the dough as we need this to strengthen the gluten.

See the recipe below or see the printable version here.

Olive, Feta & Rosemary Sourdough Focaccia

Makes: One 28cm Focaccia (to fit a La Cloche base)

Ingredients

100g 1:1 refreshed starter • 210g tepid water • 215g Pande Sempre flour35g semolina, plus extra for dusting • 80g organic wholemeal flour • 5g sea salt (and some to sprinkle) • 90g Pelia extra virgin olive oil (and some to dress) • Zest of one lemon • 50g black olives, pitted and roughly chopped • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary or sage or a mixture of the two, roughly torn (keep some for sprinkling) • 175g Feta cheese, cut into large cubes

Method

• Add the starter into the water and mix well with a dough whisk. Blend the three flours and the salt. • Add the flours to the starter mixture and mix to a sticky dough - do not panic about it being sticky. Cover and leave for about 30 minutes. • Mix in 40g of the olive oil and lemon zest, then leave for another 30 minutes. • Stretch and fold the dough thoroughly for about 3 minutes, then add the olives. Return to a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and prove overnight (8 hours in the fridge). • Remove your dough from the fridge and gently turn out onto a surface floured with semolina. Softly? (is a duplicate of gently in previous sentence)shape into a ball, keeping the seams down, before rolling gently into a circle shape about 25cm in diameter. It’s really important to work the dough carefully; so as not to knock the air out. Keep your hands well dusted so they don’t stick to the dough. • Pre-heat the oven to 200C. • Drizzle the remaining 50g olive oil into the base of the base of a cloche, place into it your shaped dough and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave on the worktop until it has risen by 50%. Depending on the ambient temperature of your kitchen this can take a few hours. Please have patience, as it will take the dough a while to warm up and the yeast to become active. • Gently dimple the dough with your fingers and scatter over the cubes of feta, drizzle a little more oil on top and finish with the herbs, ½ teaspoon more of salt and a few more olives. • Transfer your dough into the preheated oven, lower the temperature to 180C and bake the bread for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and it is cooked through. • Turn out on to a cooling rack and sprinkle over some more fresh herbs.

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Patrick’s Favourite Lammas Fayre Flours:

1. Medieval Peasant flour

2. Rivet Flour

3. Iron Age and Emmer Spelt

Wonderful flour that includes pea and broadbeans. £4.60

Authentic blend of Norman rivet wheat, very tasty. £4.60

An ancient blend from ancient emmer and spelt, very tasty. £4.59

 

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