Farina Pugliese for breakfast

One of the things I find continually disappointing about the bakery at my local Waitrose is how little freshly baked bread they have in stock. I initially thought this was because I went at the end of the day, but despite going at different times of day I find the shelves empty of bread. It’s not like that all the time, but I would say 90% of the time I visit, there is virtually no fresh bread.

On my most recent visit I wasn’t expecting to find any fresh bread, I hoped I would, but no there was only a few rolls. Well ni surprise there then. However I needed some bread for breakfast so off to the pre-packed stuff.

Looking over the selection I found Farina Pugliese toasting bread.

Farina Pugliese for breakfast

This Italian bread is made from durum wheat, giving it thick crust and a golden crumb.

The packaging says that the bread is for toasting and it does need toasting, otherwise it can be a bit dry.

Delicious toasted with butter.

Tasty Bread

So I mentioned a couple of days ago that I had never been to Hart’s Bakery. I had heard of Harts Bakery in Bristol, but assumed it was in the middle of nowhere (i.e. Clifton or Gloucester Road) so challenging to get to when working in the centre of Bristol. So was surprised to find out that it’s underneath the arches (at Bristol Temple Meads).

I bought a malted and sunflower seed sourdough loaf, which looked great. The bread itself was delicious, nice firm crust, soft fluffy bread, and full of flavour. You could taste the malt and the sunflower seeds added both flavour and a nice seeded crunch.

Hart's Bakery Malted and Sunflower Sourdough

Nice with just some butter, just as nice toasted with butter. So definitely will be going again, and will see what else they do.

Hart’s Bakery

Only found out about Hart’s Bakery last week. I had heard of Harts Bakery in Bristol, but assumed it was in the middle of nowhere (i.e. Clifton or Gloucester Road) so challenging to get to when working in the centre of Bristol. So was surprised to find out that it’s underneath the arches (at Bristol Temple Meads). Today, third time lucky, it was open and I managed to buy a really nice looking malted and sunflower seed sourdough. Looks tasty and not bad value for artisan bread at £2.

Hart's Bakery Malted and Sunflower Sourdough

It felt and looked really nice. Not tasted the bread yet…

Why third time lucky? First time I went, it was just after work (having missed a train) and I went to find it, but the opening hours are 7am to 3pm, so a place to go first thing in the morning (or at lunchtime). Second time I went was yesterday, and found that it was only open from Tuesday to Saturday (should have noted that the first time I found it). So third time, today, it was open and busy. As well as selling bread, they also do coffee and cake.

Piada’ing to nostalgia

One memory of my trips to Italy in the 1990s was of the different kinds of sandwiches that were sold in bars and cafes. These weren’t the pianinis (or wraps)_ that you find all over the place here, but usually some kind of flat bread filled with mozzarella, salami or prosciutto and fresh salad leaves. What triggered this trip down memory lane was finding these Italian flatbreads in my local supermarket, so in a fit of nostalgia, I bought some.

Piada

These are thicker than the sandwich wraps that you find, the ones made by Mission for example. They are certainly not as thick as naan or pitta breads.

I followed the instructions and heated mine up in a dry frying pan, before adding some Milano salami, mixed lettuce leaves, sliced tomato and cucumber. The entire bread is then folded in half and served.

The bread is nice with a nice taste of olive oil, soft and warm and a nice contrast to the crunch and freshness of the salad.

I do think that they were slightly expensive at £1.75 for four, so might consider making my own.

Olive Focaccia

Olive Focaccia

This was the first time I have made Focaccia.

Taking 500gram strong white bread flour, I added a pack of quick acting years. I then added two spoons of olive oil and 350ml of water.

This was mixed into a dough which I then kneaded for ten minutes. I placed this in an bowl, greased with olive oil, this was covered in cling film and I placed it in a warm place for forty minutes.

After letting it rise I put it into a rectangular floured tin, pushed it into a square shape, and then poked it with holes, placed some olives in the bread, some slivers of garlic and a light scatter of dried Italian herbs. I would have liked to use some fresh rosemary, chopped, however I didn’t have any. If you want extra saltiness (or don’t use the olives) you can add some sea salt.

The bread was then left to prove for another thirty minutes. After that I brushed it with some olive oil and it was then baked in a hot oven 220ºC for twenty minutes or until browned.

Serve and tear apart on the table.