Monday 18 November 2013

Glittery Christmas-Tree Bread with Garlic & Rosemary

Here's the first of my Christmas recipes for 2013: an easy flat-bread made with supermarket dough, cherry tomatoes, olives and caperberries. And for a funky festive finish, a snowstorm of edible glitter.  (Cake glitter is normally associated with cupcakes and other dreadful instances of kitchen juvenility, but even so I keep a stash of it in my baking drawer for strewing over savoury dishes, such as Home-Made Glitzers.)

Glittery Christmas-Tree Bread with Garlic & Rosemary
I sketched this on my iPad while I was plotting Christmas recipes.

I hope this festive flatbread will draw gasps from your guests as you carry it triumphantly to the table. The hot bread smells gorgeous with its lashings of fresh garlic and olive oil, and looks so pretty all bedecked with rosemary and glitter. Even the fussiest kids will, I hope, show an interest.  Sure, they may pick out the pimento-stuffed olives and caperberries, but they'll wolf down the hot bread.

Glittery Christmas-Tree Bread with Garlic & Rosemary
This is so quick and easy to make if you use supermarket dough.

You can ring the changes by adding any ingredients you fancy: pork chipolatas, bacon bits, shaved vegetables, nuggets of feta, and so on.

Glittery Christmas-Tree Bread with Garlic & Rosemary
Puffed up and crusty, and studded with edible decorations.

If you can't find packets of fresh dough in your supermarket, make your own by using one kilogram of bread flour to one 10-gram sachet of instant dry yeast, plus a teaspoon of salt, another of olive oil, and just enough warm water to bind the mixture into a pliable dough.

 Knead it well, let it rise until doubled in size, punch it down in the usual fashion and continue with the recipe.  Here are good basic instructions for bread dough.

Glittery Christmas-Tree Bread with Garlic & Rosemary

1 kg ready-made white or wholewheat bread dough
500 g cherry tomatoes (about 24)
16 pimento-stuffed green olives
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated
flaky sea salt
freshly milled black pepper
12 caperberries, well drained [optional]
edible cake glitter

Heat the oven to 200 ºC.

Lightly dampen a large baking tray and cover with a sheet of baking paper.  The water on the baking tray will help the paper to stick.

Dust some flour over the top of the paper, then pull and push the dough into a rough tree-shaped triangle. You will find that the dough creeps back, but if you persist with pulling and stretching, you'll eventually have an acceptable shape.

Glittery Christmas-Tree Bread with Garlic & Rosemary
Use a pair of sharp scissors to snip the dough.
Using a pair of kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut diagonal slits in the dough to form the 'branches' of the tree.

Don't worry if these aren't perfectly symmetrical - the bread will do its own thing in the oven as it rises and crisps up, and there really is no point in faffing about when you should be relaxing on the lawn with with a gin and tonic.

Press the cherry tomatoes deep into the dough.  Cut the olives in half crossways and push them into the dough between the tomatoes. Strip the leaves off the rosemary sprigs and scatter them between the tomatoes and olives.

Glittery Christmas-Tree Bread with Garlic & Rosemary
A flurry of edible glitter goes over the bread as
it comes out of the oven. 
Now, using your fingertips, make deep dimples all over the bread.

Mix the olive oil and garlic together in a bowl and paint this all over the bread, using a pastry brush or your fingertips.

Generously scatter the bread with flaky salt, grind over plenty of fresh pepper and bake at 200 ºC for about 30 minutes, or until the bread is well risen, golden brown and crisp on top.

Remove the bread from the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes, then arrange the caperberries on top.

Trickle a little more olive oil over the top, and dust lavishly with cake glitter.

Serves 6-8 as a snack. 

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Nina said...

Oh wow, Jane, simply awesome! Love the idea and the children will have such fun helping to make these!!

Zirkie said...

What a great idea!!