‘Feta & Artichoke Folded Bread’, aka: ‘let’s use up some old, back-of-the-fridge items before they rot’ -bread.
I’ve been lazy this past two months. Really, really lazy. I’ll leave leftovers in the fridge for far longer than I care to admit here. I’ll find long lost items at the back of that cold box, and I can’t even recall when I last ate that.
Last night’s after-midnight productivity (unintentionally perpetuating the fail that is my 2013 sleeping pattern) was to create this, today’s lovely breakfast masterpiece. This is a variation of something I used to make years ago during slow season in Whistler. I miss the days where I could make whatever I wanted and play in the kitchen (and get paid for it!) during shoulder season in the mountains. Things are different in my current line of work, so I make these things at home instead. There’s always freedom in the home kitchen.
There I sit: cross legged on the bed so often, with my giant book of recipes collected from the last nearly 8 years of working in pastry kitchens. Several hundred pages, and at least one thousand recipes to choose from. Maybe even more. And to think: I’ve got an entire year’s worth of recipes that need to be typed out and added to it.
The Book isn’t just a binder full of recipes from past work places. It’s a diary of sorts. It’s got hand written notes, photos, chicken-scratch doodles, and menu brain storms. It’s a time capsule holding some of my most dear memories in life. It contains faces, voices, moments in time. It holds the first dessert menu I ever wrote (and successfully launched) on my own. It holds everything I’ve ever learned in my work. It holds the closest friends I could’ve ever hoped to make on the job and in life.
Every recipe in The Book has a mental ‘attached file’.
The Book is my work diary. It is the product and evidence of years of blood, sweat, and tears. Literally all three of these. More tears and sweat than blood, but blood still definitely included.
It has travelled 6,968 kilometres with me.
The Book almost got left behind in Whistler when I moved to Florida. It was overnight FedEx’d last minute as my heart nearly pounded straight out of my chest. My brain started to convince me I’d be a giant disappointment in my new job down south when I showed up recipe-less and dazed. And there it was, on the doorstep the next afternoon. *Insert largest sigh of relief ever uttered, with a few curse words*.
This recipe is adapted from a recipe for Stromboli, and that recipe came from a book of Isabelle’s. I’ve made it in the past with sundried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, caramelized onions, and black pepper… but this is what was at the back of the fridge today. Sorry about your luck.
The Bread Dough:
1 tsp dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1+3/4 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
1+1/2 TB olive oil
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, chopped
3/4 cup feta, crumbled
2 TB dried basil from your Mom’s garden
1 TB oil for kneading (whatever is fine!)
1 egg, for egg wash
-Preheat oven to 425 F.
-Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the sugar. Water should be warm enough to dissolve the yeast easily with a gentle stir, but not hot. Too much heat will kill your yeast.
-Add the olive oil to the water mixture.
-Stir the salt into the flour, then add the flour to the water, and mix with your hands until dough forms a rough ball. Set aside for 5 mins to rest. Rough is fine.
-Put the 1TB of ‘whatever’ oil on the counter top, smear it around to create your stick-free kneading surface. Knead your dough for 2 mins or until the ball is smooth and elastic. Set in a warm place (I place my dough on top of the oven in a bowl, with a towel folded underneath) to proof for about 40 mins, or until the dough has doubled in size.
-Punch the dough down to deflate, shape into a thin rectangle no more than 1/2 an inch thick. Mine was about 8 inches by 13 inches. Rest 5 mins to relax and account for a little bit of shrinkage.
-Sprinkle the dough with artichokes, feta, basil, salt, and pepper, and maybe even a little extra drizzle of olive oil and some… chilli flakes, maybe? Whatever suits your fancy in the moment will do.
-Fold the decorated dough (lengthwise/the hot dog way) over itself. Fold 1/3 of the dough onto itself, and then fold the other 1/3 on top of that: forming a folded log with open ends. Pinch the edge lengthwise and pinch the ends as well, so that filling doesn’t fall out.
-Flip the log over, whisk the egg with a small splash of water, and brush the egg wash over the log. Rest for at least 15-20 mins or until the log has nearly doubled in size once again.
-Egg wash once more, and bake approx 30 mins or until the crust has reached this colour:
-Cool on a wire rack for 15 mins, slice, and enjoy.
Ciao for now!
You can comment below or contact me here.