If we don’t have plans to go out for the day, one of my favourite ways to spend Saturday morning is in the kitchen. Whether it’s having the luxury of cooking a decadent breakfast, preparing food for friends, or just making something nice that we can share together, I find it both relaxing and constructive – a great way to start the weekend.
This morning I decided to cook this savoury bread, which we enjoyed at lunchtime with a hearty pumpkin soup. I think that there’s something particularly special about home-made bread. It really is one of those simple pleasures in life, especially when it’s still warm from the oven.
The main ingredient here is self-raising (soft) flour, so strictly speaking I’m not sure that this is – technically – bread. What are the rules when it comes to classifying / defining bread? But of course, not having to add yeast means that it doesn’t have to be kneaded or left to rise, making production even quicker than baking a simple white loaf.
As you’d expect from the ingredients, this is a strongly flavoured bread – it’s salty, savoury, aromatic. If you like feta cheese, then you should really enjoy it. It’s fairly dense, although not heavy, and the crust is crisp and light. It doesn’t need much in the way of accompaniment and really does go well with a simple soup, but can also be a delightful snack on its own. It’s also incredibly moreish, so don’t expect it to hang around for very long.
I think that it’s best served straight from the oven, when it’s been allowed to cool but remains warm. If that’s not possible, then it can be warmed through in the oven quite successfully too, and is even great cold.
Recipe: Feta Cheese, Potato and Rosemary Bread
6 oz self-raising flour
1 medium potato (approximately 6oz), peeled and grated
4 oz Feta cheese, cut into small cubes
¼ of a red onion, peeled and finely chopped
½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
½ tsp salt (adjust according to taste)
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp whole-grain mustard
Small sprigs of rosemary and a few olives, sliced, to scatter over (optional)
Sift the flour, salt and cayenne into a large mixing bowl, holding the sieve high to air the flour. Add the grated potato, followed by the red onion, rosemary and cheese. Use a palette knife to blend everything together thoroughly.
Transfer it to a greased baking tray and pat it gently into a 6 inch rough round. Dust with a little extra flour, and scatter the rosemary sprigs and sliced olives (if using) over the top, pressing them in to the dough gently with your fingertips.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack, serving it while still slightly warm.
Adapted from: Delia Smith, Delia’s How to Cook (Book One)