Spelt rosemary focaccia

I thought I would name this the best ever focaccia recipe but I generally find blog posts with such titles highly off putting and not enough intriguing to make me want to recreate it myself. So I’ll just let you know that this is my ultimate focaccia recipe that you can use as you please, given it’s such a versatile one. By all means you don’t have to use spelt flour in it, but I think it makes the colour very appealing and the flavour is slightly nuttier. I do believe it affects the texture as well, making it a very soft and airy one. You can use any combination you prefer, however I do find that using strong white bread flour as the main component does help and given that it’s a more affordable one I like to think that you can make it more often and still enjoy a lovely focaccia.

This recipe makes a nice tray for 8 people, feel free to halve the recipe if this is more suitable to you.


For the dough:
400g/14oz strong white bread flour
100g/3.5oz wholemeal spelt flour
400ml/14oz water at room temperature
20g fresh yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp sugar

For the topping:
4 tbsp olive oil + 4 tbsp water
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
fresh rosemary


1. combine your flours and salt in a large bowl and mix well
2. dissolve the sugar and yeast in the water
3. then stir in the oil
4. pour the wet over the dry and combine with a spoon until incorporated
5. then continue by hand or with a dough hook as the dough will be very wet (please do not worry about this, it is completely normal and is what gives focaccia its light and moist texture)
6. once you have worked the gluten in the dough for a few minutes drizzle a little more oil on your dough and distribute it over it with your hand to prevent it from sticking to the bowl
7. allow to rest for at least an hour up to two hours covered with a damp towel or cling film (make sure this does not touch the dough or it’ll stick to it)
8. then transfer onto a lightly oiled 45×30 centimetre (18×12 inches) tray
9. oil your fingers well and spread it gently to cover the surface of the tray
10. allow to rest covered for another hour and a half to two hours
11. sprinkle fresh rosemary leaves on it and the 1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt
12. in a glass, make an emulsion with the oil and water, whisk well, and pour over the surface of the focaccia
13. poke the dough with your fingers to make holes in it and allow the emulsion to enter them
12. bake 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 250C or gas mark 9

Enjoy while warm!

Pumpkin and poppy seed bread

When you think of pumpkin bread the idea of quick bread banana bread-like loaf springs to mind, however this is a simple sourdough leavened loaf in which I used pumpkin puree instead of water. The pumpkin is roasted in the oven with a sprig of rosemary for a more fragrant final product, even though this isn’t necessary if you are working with a very sweet and flavoursome pumpkin.


600g/21.1oz white bread flour
420g/14.8oz ready made puréed pumpkin (made with 900g/31.7oz raw pumpkin)
120g/4.2oz natural yeast (sourdough starter)
2 tsp salt
poppy seeds


1. preheat your oven to 200C
2. peel and chop your pumpkin in small pieces and place it on a sheet of tin foil with the rosemary
3. cover with another sheet of foil and bake for about 30 to 40 mins until very soft when pierced with a fork
4. weight out your flour and starter in a bowl
5. puree the pumpkin with a blender discarding the rosemary, then measure out what is needed and add to the bowl with flour and yeast
6. add the salt
7. mix with a spoon until fairly well combined
8. then continue kneading with your hands until you obtain a workable and soft ball of dough
9. leave in the bowl and cover with a damp towel
10. allow to rest for 4 to 5 hours
11. punch down your dough and knead well again for a minute or so
12. spread out the dough and fold it towards the centre as if you were folding a letter
13. give it your desired shape, I cut mine into two equal balls
14. dampen the side you are going to cover with poppy seeds with water and then turn out on the seeds (this will help them to stick to the bread and will not fall out when you cut it)
15. allow to rest a further 3 to 4 hours and then bake in a preheated oven at 250C for about 20 minutes
16. turn upside down and continue baking for another 15/20 minutes until both sides sound hollow when tapped

Ravioli with cashew and tofu filling

I’d been meaning to make these for a long time and finally convinced my mum to get her pasta machine out of the cupboard. This morning when I got up she had everything ready for us to prepare the ravioli. I didn’t write down the exact quantities and apologise about not having them, but you should be able to put them together without too much guessing as they are quite straight forward.


For the pasta:
250g/8.8oz plain flour
125ml/4.4oz water

For the filling:
200g/7oz cashew nuts
200g/7oz tofu
2 tbsp olive oil
soya milk

1. soak the nuts for a few hours in warm water
2. then drain and blend them with the tofu
3. add the oil, parsley, salt to taste and enough soya milk to ensure you have a quite wet cream (this shouldn’t have to be liquid nor too thick, but soft enough to be wet)
4. for the pasta sheets mix flour and water into a bowl
5. transfer onto a floured surface and knead until you have a soft pliable dough
6. stretch using a pasta maker into a long strip of pasta
7. place dollops of filling (about 1 teaspoon for each raviolo) along one of the long sides of the sheet, about 2 to 3 centimetres apart from each other
8. fold the sheet to cover the filling and with a ravioli or cookie cutter press down on the sheet to release your ravioli
9. place them on a floured tray to ensure that they don’t stick to it
10. once you’ve cut them all out (you will have trimmings of dough left, you can turn this into additional ravioli if you have filling left, however the dough will be slightly harder than the previously stretched so I would suggest making another kind of pasta with this like ‘maltagliati”, which means roughly cut, so you don’t notice a difference in texture between one dumpling and the other)
11. boil for about 5 minutes in salted water and serve with a sauce of your choice. we had them with “butter” and sage, however a plain tomato sauce would be perfect as well