This year I have sewn lots of edible flower seeds, to intersperse with veggies in the veg patch. This was partly experimental to see if pollination and fruiting would bring a higher yield - thanks to our lovely working bees - but also I love making beautiful salads, and they also make great cut flowers! What more could you want!
This month has been a very hard one, with my little boy being rushed off to hospital for another tummy operation, and it finds me at home with him, trying to entertain him and quietly/calmly make sure that he is healing. So we made a Focaccia bread garden. A perfect task, as it took all day, but was very spaced out, and helped pace our day too, so there were lots of breaks in between. I'm sharing the recipe with you below, if you too would like to give it a go, along with what we have growing, and our top tips!
- 500g strong bread flour , plus extra for dusting
- 7g dried fast action yeast
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 5 tbsp olive oil , plus extra for the tin and to serve
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- edible flowers
Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix the yeast into one side of the flour, and the fine salt into the other side. Then mix everything together, this initial seperation prevents the salt from killing the yeast.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and add 2 tbsp oil and 350-400ml lukewarm water, adding it gradually until you have a slightly sticky dough (you may not need all the water). Sprinkle the work surface with flour and tip the dough onto it, scraping around the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5-10 mins until your dough is soft and less sticky. Put the dough into a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 1 hr until doubled in size.
Oil a rectangle, shallow tin (25 x 35cm). Tip the dough onto the work surface, then stretch it to fill the tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for another 35-45 mins
Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas. Mix together 1½ tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp water and the flaky salt and drizzle over the bread. Use your edible flowers to create a beautiful garden . Push them very slightly in to the surface of the bread.
We used nasturtiums, courgette flowers, calendula, borage, fennel, rosemary, lavender and violas, and Archie had a great idea to make it look like a rainbow!
Bake for 20 mins until golden. When cooking, it was obvious that the flowers would loose their colour and become very fragile. I brought a few of the calendula out about 3/4 of the way in, and that helped to keep some colour on the bread! Whilst the bread is still hot, drizzle over 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Cut into squares and serve warm or cold with extra olive oil, if you like.
It was absolutely delicious! Look out for our next home schooling adventure!