Sausage, fennel and burrata flatbreads
- July 2023
- Serves 2-4
- 35-40 min, plus resting and proving
Summer is the perfect time to fire up the barbecue and make these sausage and fennel flatbreads from River Cottage chef and food writer Gill Meller. Who needs a pizza oven when you’ve got this!
Take a look at our courgette, peach and burrata flatbreads, too.
Outside: Recipes for a Wilder Way of Eating by Gill Meller (Quadrille £30) is out now.
- 44g (19g saturated)
- 50g (3.6g sugars)
- 250g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
- ½ tsp sea salt, plus extra to sprinkle
- ½ tsp instant/fast-action yeast
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
For the topping
- 6 British outdoor-reared pork sausages
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1-2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 1-2 tsp chilli flakes, plus extra to sprinkle
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to trickle
- Flaky sea salt to sprinkle
- 2 burrata balls
- Handful fennel tops or small basil leaves, chopped
- Put the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and add 150ml water and the olive oil. Mix everything thoroughly until it forms a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worksurface and knead for about 10 minutes until soft and smooth. Shape the dough into a rough ball and put in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worksurface, then cut it in half. Form each piece into a nice, neat ball and leave to rest for 20 minutes or so. When you’re ready to cook the flatbreads, shape each piece of dough into a thin disc with either your hands or a rolling pin.
- Cut open the sausage skins and roughly crumble the meat into a bowl. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and a little salt and pepper, then mix together thoroughly.
- Put a large, heavy pan over a hot barbecue or high heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil, then sprinkle in the spiced sausage meat and cook for 5-10 minutes. Let it crisp up and caramelise in places and scrape at all the sticky bits in the pan as you go. Keep warm. If you’re not cooking the flatbreads directly on the barbecue grill, spoon out all the sausage and juices into a bowl and keep warm, then heat the pan again.
- Lay the flatbreads directly on the grill of the barbecue or in the hot pan – they should cook nice and quickly. You’ll know they’re ready to turn when they begin to bubble up on the surface and smoke and steam. Flip and cook for another minute, then transfer to a board and trickle them with extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Tear over the burrata, letting it fall however it wants to fall. Scrape out the hot, crumbly sausage over the cheese along with all the spicy, fennel-y fat from the pan (or bowl). Finish with a few extra chilli flakes, if you like, a scattering of fennel tops or fennel leaves and a healthy last trickle of oil.
Easy swaps: Make a veggie variation using courgettes instead of sausage. Slice them thinly and fry them in the same way with the fennel seeds, chilli and garlic.
You can make the dough a day in advance and leave it to prove more slowly overnight in the fridge.
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