My London "father," Gennaro Contaldo, makes these to use up all his leftover antipasti. They're great a complete snack.
Basic Bread Recipe:
- Just over 2 pounds (1 kilogram) strong bread flour
- Just over 1 pint (625 milliliters) tepid water
- 1 ounce (30 grams) fresh yeast or 3 (1/4 ounce/7 gram) sachets dried yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Sea salt
- Extra flour, for dusting
- 2 courgettes (zucchini), sliced and char-grilled
- 2 artichoke hearts, char-grilled and sliced
- A handful black olives
- A handful sun-dried tomatoes
- A couple slices Parma ham
- A bunch basil, leaves ripped
- A drizzle olive oil
- A drizzle herb vinegar
- 1 ball mozzarella, ripped
- A handful Parmesan shavings
- A couple fresh plum tomatoes
- 2 ounces Montgomery cheddar
- A good drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Maldon sea salt
For the bread:
Stage 1: Making a Well Pile the flour on to a clean surface and make a large well in the center. Pour half the water into the well, then add your yeast, sugar and salt and stir with a fork.
Stage 2: Getting It Together Slowly, but confidently, bring in the flour from the inside of the well. (You do not want to break the walls of the well, or the water will go everywhere). Continue to bring the flour into the center until you get a stodgy, porridge-y consistency, then add the remaining water. Continue to mix until it's stodgy again, then you can be more aggressive, bringing in all the flour, making the mix less sticky. Flour your hands and pat and push the dough together with all the remaining flour. (Certain flours need a little more or less water, so feel free to adjust).
Stage 3: Kneading! This is where you get stuck in. With a bit of elbow grease, simply push, fold, slap, and roll the dough around, over and over, for 4 or 5 minutes until you have a silky and elastic dough.
Stage 4: First Proof Flour the top of your dough. Put it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to proof in a warm, moist, draught-free place until doubled in size, about half an hour. This proof will improve the flavor and texture of your dough, and it's always exciting to know that the old yeast has kicked into action.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C/gas 4).
Chop and mix all the ingredients for the filling and season well.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll into balls, using flour for dusting. Then roll into little frisbee shapes just over 1/4-inch (0.5 centimeter) thick. Place a good spoonful of your filling into the middle of each, brush the edges with a little water, then fold the rounds in half, pushing their edges to seal. Some people prefer to use a fork to do this but I just pinch them with my fingers. Dust with flour, do the same with all the others and move to a flour-dusted baking tray. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then score the top of the bread to allow your filling to bubble over when cooking. Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes, until golden and scrumptious-looking, and allow to cool. Always good for picnics or as portable food.