I simply adore the aroma of fennel. Whether it’s a bulb that has been braised in the oven with salt and olive oil or fennel tops that have been chopped and scattered through a salad or pasta dish. However this bread is truly splendid. Sliced and slathered with butter it makes for a perfect stack anytime of the day. Go ahead and embrace your inner fennel!
Preparation time: 15 minutes Proving time: 2 hours 30 minutes
300g Strong white flour
150g 00 flour
6g Salt (Maldon)
1 tbsp Fennel seeds, crushed
290ml Tepid water
7g Dried yeast
20g Butter, melted
Preheat oven: 190°C / Gas 5
- Pour the flour (Strong and 00) into a large bowl and sprinkle in the salt, stir.
- Crush the fennel seeds using a pestle and mortar. This will add texture to the bread by varying the size of the fennel seeds.
- Add the yeast to the tepid water and stir, this will wake up the yeast gently.
- Using a wooden spoon make a well in the center of the flour. Sprinkle the fennel seeds into the flour and slowly pour the water and melted butter into well.
- Using your fingertips or a wooden spoon, work the flour and water together until you have the start of a dough. Once combined tumble the dough out onto a lightly floured board.
- Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes and form the dough into a ball.
- Place the dough into clean oiled bowl and allow to prove for 2-4 hours at room temperature.
- After the first prove, tip your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock back the dough and form it into a round. Prove the dough for a further hour.
- Preheat the oven along with either a pizza stone or baking tray.
- Place the dough onto an oiled pizza stone or baking tray, slash the top with a sharp knife and sprinkle over the remaining fennel seeds.
- Bake for 35 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when the base is tapped.