This one was adapted from Bill Granger’s ‘Every Day’ recipe for Rosemary and Olive Spelt Bread – fairly heavily adapted, since I had neither rosemary, olives, nor spelt. I wanted to buy spelt flour, because it’s exactly the kind of thing I’m constantly drawn towards like a magnet in Waitrose, but this time I fought it’s evil spell because spelt flour is really quite expensive and I sensibly decided to use the half-full/empty (delete as outlook appropriate) bag of rye flour in my baking cupboard. What, you don’t have a baking cupboard?
What you end up with is focaccia crossed with a wholemeal loaf – the satisfying salt sprinkle and Italianate herbiage of focaccia but with an infinitely more wholesome and denser breadcrumb underneath. I used almonds and thyme on top of mine, which I liked, but I imagine you could use pretty much any woody herb and whatever springs to mind as a suitable bread topping – you just need something you can poke into the holes on top.
Rye and thyme flatbread
250g spelt flour, or rye flour
250g plain flour
1 tsp honey
300ml tepid water
7g instant dried yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
decorative items: rosemary or thyme sprigs, pitted olives, almonds, pumpkin seeds, roasted tomatoes etc.
Stir the two flours together in a large bowl. Take out about one quarter of the combined flour mix and put it in a small bowl with the honey and water. Whisk to mix, sprinkle the yeast over the top, mix again and set aside for 10-15 mins until it starts to look bubbly.
Add the oil and 2 tsp salt to the big bowl of flour. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mix. Stir to combine into a dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until pliable and smooth. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover, and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
Knock the dough back and leave it for 5 minutes. Lightly oil a rectangular baking tray and pile the dough into the tray, stretching it out until it reaches the edges and is fairly even in shape.
Cover the dough again and leave it for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220C.
Poke holes in the dough with your thumb and push your chosen decorative items into the holes. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake it for 10 minutes before reducing the heat to 190C, then bake for a further 12-15 minutes until golden brown.