Breads are fun to make and there are endless varieties of flours, forms, and fillings to choose from. This beetroot and feta bread should impress with it's punchy and salty flavours. It can take the place of a sandwich in a picnic, accompany a salad for lunch, or even be part of a dinner course.
If you want to mix things up you can substitute the relish, cheese, and herbs with alternatives. Perhaps onion chutney, goat's cheese, and thyme for instance?
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Proving Time +2 hours
Baking Time 30-35 minutes
500g Strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
2 tsp Fast-action yeast
2 tsp Fine salt
30g Unsalted butter (softened)
325ml Full-fat milk
Oil for greasing (I use olive oil. You may want to use flavourless e.g. sunflower or vegetable)
5 tbsp Beetroot relish (recipe)
1 tbsp Dill (chopped)
Large sharp knife
Place the flour in a large bowl.
Add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other, followed by the butter.
Using one hand, start drawing together the ingredients, adding the milk using the other.
Keep adding the milk until the ingredients have been incorporated and you have a soft and sticky/wet dough.
You may not need all of the milk.
Pour a little bit of oil on your worktop and tip out the dough.
Start kneading. The dough requires about 10 minutes of kneading until it's smooth, soft, and elastic. You can use a free-standing mixer if you wish, however I prefer to do this by hand.
Once the dough is ready, place it in a very lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm.
Leave until it has doubled in size. This will take at least an hour.
If you want to make the dough in advance, you can prove it in the fridge overnight.
Once the dough has risen, knock out the air and tip onto a lightly floured worktop.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a square measuring 36cm x 36cm.
Take the beetroot relish, making sure you don't scoop up any liquid, and dab 5 tablespoons onto the dough.
Spread the relish with a palette knife to every edge. You want a very thin layer of relish, so only add more if you feel that it really needs it.
Sprinkle the dill over the beetroot.
Finally, take the feta and crumble over the dill speckled relish. Try and crumble it into small pieces.
When it comes to the shaping of the bread, do not be afraid. Be bold, be brave.
You need to ensure you roll it as tightly as possible, so don't rush this.
It's best starting with the edge closest to you, tightly tucking the bread as you roll.
Finish rolling with the seam along the bottom.
Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Pick up the rolled dough and place onto the parchment with the seam still along the bottom.
You may need to lay this diagonally if your baking sheet isn't large enough.
Take the knife and place the blade 3cm from the end of the roll.
Press down. You want to try and cut through most of the roll, although you're not aiming to make a clean slice, so don't saw at all!
Repeat along 3cm intervals. You should have 12 segments in total.
Place your index and middle finger on the side of the furthest segment.
Take your other hand and place your index and middle finger on the opposing outer side of the next segment.
Pull your hands outwards from the centre of the roll, moving the dough with them.
Be sure to keep the segments attached at the bottom of the roll, you're not looking to create separate buns so don't be too rough.
Repeat with each of the other 5 pairs until you have something similar to the photograph.
Cover loosely with very lightly oiled clingfilm.
Leave the dough to prove for an hour or so until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C(Fan)/400°F/Gas mark 6.
Uncover and bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Do check on the loaf after 20 minutes. If you're worried that it's starting to colour too much, gently place a square of tin foil on top if it. You don't need to wrap it around the bread, resting will do.
When baked, the bread should sound hollow when tapped underneath. Use the parchment to help you overturn the bread when testing to see if it's baked.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.