In Season: Sweet cherry bread (cherry schiacciata)

Sweet cherry bread.
Sweet cherry bread.
Make this into a Christmas recipe by sprinkling a little icing sugar mixed with a generous pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg over the bread.

1 tsp dried yeast
1 Tbsp rose petal sugar (see recipe)
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
500g pitted cherries or grapes
2 Tbsp rose petal sugar, for dusting

To make the rose petal sugar: Put sugar and dried rose petals into a food processor and blitz until the petals have blended into the sugar.

It should go a lovely speckled pink colour.

Set aside.

It will store well in a clean glass jar with a lid for a month or two.

To make the bread: In a bowl combine the yeast, sugar, flour and salt.

Add the warm water and olive oil.

If using an electric mixer use a dough hook and mix together and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough comes together and is smooth and elastic.

If kneading by hand, try to knead for a good 5 minutes or until the dough looks smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200degC.

Generously grease a baking tray or baking dish with olive oil.

Tip the dough out and knead lightly, then press and stretch the dough out with your hands so it roughly fits the tray.

Scatter cherries over the surface of the dough and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20-30 minutes until the dough is golden.

Scatter over a few more rose petals to finish off.

This dough also works well for breakfast.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Take it out in the morning and let it come to room temperature before baking.

- recipe from Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market


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