25 October 2013

Cheese, Walnut and Rosemary Spelt Focaccia

Nothing beats the smell of homemade bread- there's just no comparison. 
Having been on a gluten-free diet for the last 8 years, this has proved torture for my love of artisan breads and exotic flavoured loaves. 
However, recently I've been able to slowly incorporate a little bit of gluten back into my diet. Spelt is a great flour to use in wholegrain baking. It's an ancient relative of the modern wheat we use today and even though it contains gluten, it is considered to be much more digestible and tolerable for those with a wheat intolerance. 
When using spelt flour in bread it produces a lovely earthy, nutty sort of flavour. Paired with delicate rosemary and a strong cheese it results in a delicious tasting loaf. 
This is a recipe adapted from that of Beca's from the Great British Bake Off for spelt and potato foccacia bread.  


300g potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 380g unpeeled weight)
300g wholegrain spelt flour
1tsp dried-active yeast
1tsp salt
1tsp caster sugar
1tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
3-4tbsp olive oil
Strong cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic
Extra rosemary sprigs


Add the chopped potatoes to a pan of boiling, salted water and simmer for about 15 minutes until soft. Then drain the potatoes, reserving 130ml of the cooking liquid and then put them back in the hot pan to dry out a bit. 

Meanwhile measure out the spelt flour, yeast, salt, sugar and rosemary into a bowl and mix well. 

Then mash the potatoes with the olive oil and add to the flour mixture in a large mixing bowl. Mix well and then begin to add the potato water gradually until the mixture is well combined and has come together. Then knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it feels smooth. ( You can either do this by hand on a lightly oiled work surface or in a machine using a dough hook.)
Then place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with some oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour. 

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

Whilst the dough is proving, prepare the toppings. Beca uses more cooked new potatoes on top of hers but instead I used some fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped up walnut pieces, finely chopped garlic and some grated strong cheddar cheese. 

Once the dough has proved, generously grease a large baking tray and then tip the proved dough out into it. Using your fingertips, spread the dough to the edges of the tray- the dough should be quite wet and elastic. Then scatter over the cheese, garlic, walnuts and rosemary and drizzle over a little extra olive oil as well as a sprinkling of sea salt. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/potato_spelt_and_9574

What do you think of our Great british Bake Off Final party? - any excuse for tea and cake in our flat!
Did you manage to predict the winner?


  1. Wow, I'm so jealous of your party! You put out an amazing spread there :-) But I was totally surprised (yet delighted) Frances won, I really thought it was going to be Ruby, or possibly Kimberley if not.
    And a beautiful recipe! It's great that you've been able to successfully experiment with spelt. I've also heart that sourdough can be tolerated by a lot of gluten-free eaters? Have you had any experience with that?

    1. ah it was so much fun! Me too- I was surprised but glad it went to such a worthy winner- her wedding cake was just amazing! oohh I'm still yet to experiment with sourdough but I'm definitely going to give it a go soon! xxx

  2. We always use spelt flour for making our breads. Your focaccia looks absolutely gorgeous. I love the fact you added walnuts, yum! Never made focaccia myself, maybe I should give it a go.

    Sofie x

    1. Thank you! I was really pleased with the results- the walnuts add that lovely bit of crunch on top! Katie xx

  3. Ooo that focaccia looks so so good!!
    I was quite disappointed with the Finale to be honest. As much as Francis seemed like a lovely person and a great baker, she definitely fell behind both Ruby and Kimberley. My all time favourite was definitely Ruby, even though her wedding cake was so lacklustre.

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

    1. Thank you! ah I know it must have been such a close-call decision but they were all such good bakers! xx

  4. This bread looks wonderful - I love fresh rosemary and bet it makes this bread extra special! And I love the shots from your party : ) So fun!

    1. Thanks Ashley- I managed to pinch a bit of fresh rosemary from the garden at home and bring it up to uni! - so its been a lovely addition to some of my recipes this week! xxx

  5. I saw your bake off party on InstaG and was mega impressed :) It must have been such fun and a super intense atmosphere in the house.
    Also, focaccia has totally been on my mind this month...though I'm still a tad scared of yeast... any tips?
    x x x
    The Lobster & Me

    1. haha ah it was great- a whole evening of tea, cake and judging from our sofas:) you really don't have to worry with this focaccia- it turned out to be a very easy bake. Don't be tempted to add in more flour if the dough looks too wet- its meant to be very wet, elastic and sticky so just go with it! xx

  6. Woah this recipe sounds amazing!! Your photos are perfect and I love the party theme!!xx


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It's really appreciated and lovely to hear some feedback. Katie x