Feasting on Art Recipe Contest: Food as Art and Art as Food


Floris Gerritsz van Schooten, A Still Life of Cheese, c.1585  (oil on oak panel, 39.3 x 55.2 cm, Private collection)

I love experimenting with bread (see my recipes for Rustic Country Bread and Everlasting Bread).  I have yet to master focaccia bread so if anyone has a great recipe, please let me know.  But, on a recent snow day at home, I found the best flat bread recipe at The Cilantropist

Since I am a self-proclaimed “OC” recipe contestant, I had to enter the contest sponsored by Feasting on Art.  (This is a great site and I wish I had thought of it!)  The above painting was set forth as the inspiration for this contest.  I decided to try to incorporate both cheese and currants into a bread.   I was inspired and created this recipe below by using The Cilantropist’s Best Italian Flat Bread recipe as a base. 

Blue cheese and dried currants.

Flat Bread Inspired by Still Life with Cheese

 1 cup warm water
2 1/4 t. yeast
4 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 c. dried currants
1/4 t. dried thyme (not ground)
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese (more if you desire)
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

Pour the warm water into the bowl of stand mixer.  Sprinkle yeast on top of water and give it a quick stir.  Let yeast and water stand for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, add olive oil and add dough hook attachment to mixer.  Using the dough hook, stir in the olive oil.  Add currants, thyme, and cheese. 

Carefully add flour.  Scrape down sides of bowl and continue to knead using dough hook for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, examine dough.  It should be smooth, shiny and soft.  (You may have to add up to 1/4 cup more flour if too sticky.) 

Add more olive oil in another large mixing bowl and coat bottom and sides of bowl.  Scrape dough into oiled bowl and coat the top of the dough with the oil in the bowl.  Cover with a clean towel and let dough rise for 45 minutes. 

After dough has risen, coat a round baking sheet (like a pizza pan) with olive oil.  Punch dough down and put it on the oiled surface.  Spread the dough with your fingers until it is roughly a 11- 12 inch round form.  (This is a rustic bread, so the circle does not have to be perfect.)  Cover with the same towel and let rise again for 30 more minutes.

Ready for the second rise.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

After dough has risen a second time, use your fingers to make indentations in the top of the dough.   Brush the dough with olive oil.  

Bake bread in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.  (The top should be golden brown.)  Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Slice into wedges and serve with a nice glass of wine.

You can see the consistency of the bread.

Dried Currant on FoodistaDried Currant

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