Making bread at home is a wonderfully rewarding activity but can be a little bit labour intensive. Pete Biggs' gorgeous bacon flatbread recipe will provide all the encouragement you need to whip up a loaf. Serve simply with a knob of butter or use to complement pan-fried scallops, a bowl of mussels or onion soup.
Pete Biggs began his career as a pot washer in his local Beefeater – now he is more likely to bump into one, working in the swanky Capital Hotel, Knightsbridge, just round the corner from Buckingham Palace.
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To begin, place the rashers of bacon under a medium grill and cook for 2-3 until very lightly browned but still moist. Remove from the grill, drain on absorbent kitchen paper and cut into 2cm chunks
To caramelise the onions, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Once foaming, add the onions and stir for the first 2 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, cover and turn down the heat as low as possible
Remove the lid, increase the heat and continue cooking until the onions start to catch on the base of the pan and begin to caramelise. Stir every so often until all the onions are a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
For the bread, combine all the ingredients together apart from the salt. Add to a mixer with a dough hook for 6 minutes or knead by hand for 15-20 minutes to form a smooth elastic dough
Add the salt and knead for a further 2 minutes to combine
Remove the dough, shape roughly into a round ball and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to prove for 1 hour
Once the dough has doubled in size, roll the dough out (this will be the knock back stage), cover with cling film and leave to prove for a second time for an additional hour
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Spread the onions evenly on to the dough, sprinkle the bacon, cheese, rosemary sprigs and sea salt over the dough and dust with flour. Pour 1 cup of water in a roasting tray and place in the oven. This will make steam for when the bread is baking
Place the bread in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and spray or brush well with water. Return to the oven for a further 3 minutes, then spray again and return for a final 3 minutes, until the bread has risen and cooked through