It’s raining again, plus ça change. In fact, I’m surprised that my predictive text function doesn’t automatically open each post with these words, so consistent is the dreary drizzle and grey skies. We have chosen to rise above it and conjour up sunshine in the form of these individual bread rolls baked in terracotta flowerpots and bursting with sun blush tomatoes, feta cheese, rosemary and all manner of deliciousness.
I uncovered this recipe buried deep in a bulging and well-thumbed file entitled Magazine Clippings That Will Change My Life Or At Least Enhance It In Some Transient Way, and we set about making it this weekend. We carefully selected some pots and gave them a good wash and burst in the oven to prepare them, then rolled up our sleeves and let loose. Gorgeous as an accompaniment to soups and antipasti, they also went down a treat at our teddy bear Playroom Tea Party this morning, where a surprising number of rolls were nibbled and partially tasted, given that most participants were stuffed (literally), and only one, Harry, was technically capable of eating. Hmmm… suspicious.
Recipe and tips below..
This recipe originally came from British foodie mag Delicious, and I’ve reproduced it faithfully below. Uncharacteristically, we didn’t deviate from the instructions at all and they tasted divine; a more accomplished cook could play with a variety of substitutions and tweaks and produce some interesting variations.
Sunblush and Feta Flowerpot Bread. Ingredients & method:
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 7g fast acting dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 240g tub of sun blush tomatoes; set 8 aside before chopping the rest.
- 150g crumbled feta
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary plus some sprigs for decoration.
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the yeast and chopped rosemary. Gradually mix in 250ml of warm water to form a loose dough, and add the chopped tomatoes and a tbsp of the oil from the tomatoes.
- Tip out onto a clean surface and knead the dough for 5minutes until smooth. Add the crumbled feta and knead again until it is all incorporated into the dough. Separate into 8 evenly shaped balls and place each carefully in a well-oiled terracotta flowerpot (you could just place these in a muffin tin or on a baking sheet instead).
- Allow to rise for around 30mins, setting the oven for 220 degrees.
- Scatter the remaining crumbled feta over the top and add a single whole sun blush tomato to each (below). Thoroughly soak 8 small rosemary sprigs then gently push one into each flowerpot for decoration (the wetness will stop them from burning in the oven).
Bake for 20-25mins, then allow to cool for as long as you are able to restrain yourself; these are best served warm, so eat as quickly as possible or give them a quick turn in the oven before serving later (they last 2 -3 days if you can manage it).