Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Today I have an incredible, easy recipe. In fact, this post is more an assembly than recipe. Simply look at the photos. Fresh ciabatta bread baked with the ultimate topping. I chose three different cheeses, kalamata olives and fresh basil. Resulting in crisp, crusty bread with the most flavourful, salty, fresh herb spiked, cheesy covering, Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread.

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

I used a combination of Philadelphia cream cheese, mozzarella and sharp cheddar. The result when baked, is melting gooeyness and great cheese flavour. Also, adding meaty kalamata olives and fresh basil, results in an overall herby saltiness that goes well with cocktails, especially a Martini. Because the topping is overly generous, it could be split to cover two open Ciabattas. Also you could slice the ciabatta thinly, or cut into squares and these would make elegant, pre dinner canapés.

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

I love cheese and think it tastes even better when melted?

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

 

Recipe: Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

1 x Regular size Ciabatta Bread – split open

200g/7oz Mozzarella

75g/3oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese – I find own brands too watery for this recipe

75g/3oz Grated Sharp/Mature Cheddar – I use Wyke Mature Cheddar

50g/2oz Kalamata Olives – I use olives with the stones in

1tbsp chopped fresh basil

1/4 – 1/2tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper – to taste

Method: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F

Making the cheese and olive topping

  • First of all place a medium sized bowl on to some digital scales. This will make adding ingredients much easier.
  • Spoon the Philadelphia cream cheese into the bowl and break up the drained mozzarella cheese, adding it to the cream cheese.
  • Next add the grated mature cheddar to the bowl.
  • Remove the stones from the olives. Press each olive with the flat side of the knife. Remove the stone with your fingers.
  • Chop the olives roughly, adding to the bowl until the correct weight is achieved.
  • Now chop the fresh basil fairly roughly and add to the bowl.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Preparing the cheese, olive and fresh basil topping.
  • Use a fork to mix all of the ingredients together.

Cutting and covering the ciabatta

  • Cut the Ciabatta bread in half lengthways and place on to a baking tray.
  • Divide the cheese mixture in half and cover each half of the ciabatta.
FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Preparing the ciabatta for baking.

Baking the cheese covered ciabatta

  • Place the ciabatta into the top of the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. The bread is baked when it is golden and crusty and the cheese is meltingly bubbly on top.
  • While the ciabatta is baking pour yourself a long, cool glass of your favourite drink!
  • As soon as the ciabatta is baked remove from the oven. Also scoop any melted cheese that has escaped from the bread back on top.
FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread fresh from the oven.

Because I love cheese, especially when it is melted, I could probably eat this everyday. I prefer savoury over sweet anyday. Especially when it has the salty kick of olives.

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Crunchy and oozing with cheese.

Finally to serve, place on to a wooden board and slice the ciabatta across, dividing each half into 5 or 6 pieces. Pass around to delighted guests.

The topping can be made one day ahead and kept in a sealed container in the fridge. Once baked the bread should be on the same day.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread you may also enjoy these:

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Focaccia 

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Focaccia
Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Basil Focaccia

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

FF Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tart

While baking from scratch is something I enjoy, quick easy recipes, or in some cases assemblies, are essential to have on hand. Whether we are rushed off our feet with the busyness of life, or the opposite, too hot or tired to contemplate ‘cooking’, we all need a stash of no fail, easy recipes. As soon as they are assembled and baked, we can breath a collective sigh of relief, take a deep breath and enjoy our time together.

Whatever you are making, baking or even assembling in your kitchens, remember to have fun. Food tastes better when shared and the hostess is relaxed!

Sammie xx

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Super Light Scones

Hi there, I hope wherever you are the sun is shining on you today. Here in Kent it is beautifully sunny, with a light breeze. Perfect Summer weather. So much so it inspired me to bake Super Light Scones for breakfast this morning.

FF Super Light Scones

Since I don’t make a habit of making scones every morning – in fact, as a general rule I don’t like scones! Well at least the heavy, dense prepackaged ones from the supermarket. I don’t know why, they’re just not my thing. However, it’s Summer and scones with clotted cream and jam are a MUST! And especially the clotted cream has to be Rodda’s from Cornwall!

Super Light Scones, super easy to make and even easier to eat with a dollop of Rodda's clotted cream!
Super Light Scones, super easy to make and even easier to eat with a dollop of Rodda’s clotted cream!

Coming Up With A Great Scone Recipe

This probably sounds crazy, but I trawled through at least 8 cookbooks this morning, as well as looking online, but I just couldn’t find a recipe I was happy with. So I came up with my own! And it worked! I watch enough Food Network UK to have picked up some tips along the way and the Green Goddess (my friend, but unbiased taste tester) gave them the thumbs up – although she would have preferred them a little sweeter. Just trying to keep it honest round here.

Super Light Scones - the quintessential British cream tea.
Super Light Scones – the quintessential British cream tea.

 

I had these Super Light Scones for my breakfast. They are so light with soft flaky layers inside. I didn’t even use a knife to cut them open, they pulled beautifully apart. I now like scones – these ones!

 

Super Light Scones - so light they just pull apart. Delicious!
Super Light Scones – so light they just pull apart. Delicious!

 

If you are not in the UK and wish to have the British cream tea experience, but can’t get hold of clotted cream, Mascarpone cheese would make a good substitute. Alternatively book  a holiday to the UK and stay in Dorset, Devon or Cornwall – cream tea’s are readily available. Although, I admit, it’s a long way to come for a cup of English tea and a cream scone – or maybe not??

Super Light Scones - a very proper English Cream Tea - delish!
Super Light Scones – a very proper English Cream Tea – delish!

Recipe : Makes Approx 20 Super Light Scones

450g/1lb Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Salt

50g/2oz Cold Unsalted Butter

25g/1oz Vegetable Shortening

2tbsp Caster Sugar

250mls/9fl oz Cold Whole Milk

3tbsp Milk – for brushing on top of scones

Method : Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan

Making The Scone Dough

First of all, in a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the butter and shortening, use a pastry cutter, or your fingers to work the fat into the flour.
Add the butter and shortening, use a pastry cutter, or your fingers to work the fat into the flour.
Small pea sized lumps of fat should be present in the mixture.
Small pea sized lumps of fat should be present in the mixture.

 

Add the sugar and stir through to mix. Make a well in the middle of the mixture, pour in the milk and stir together using a butter knife (ordinary eating knife).

Stir until the mixture just comes together.
Stir until the mixture just comes together.
Tip the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Tip the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Bring the dough together with your hands. Gently pat the dough out to approx 2.5cm thickness. The less you handle the dough the lighter the scones will be.
Bring the dough together with your hands. Gently pat the dough out to approx 2.5cm thickness. The less you handle the dough the lighter the scones will be.

Cutting Out The Individual Scones

Using a straight sided, floured, 2 inch deep cutter, press straight down through the scone dough. Do not twist the cookie cutter as you press down as this will affect the rise on your scones. Cut out as many scones as possible then collect the pieces of dough together, pat out and cut out more scones until the dough is used up.

Place the cut out scones onto a non stick baking sheet, or line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place the cut out scones onto a non stick baking sheet, or line a baking tray with parchment paper.

 

Lightly brush the top of each scone with milk. Try to avoid the milk dripping down the side of the scone - as this affects the rise of the scone.
Lightly brush the top of each scone with milk. Try to avoid the milk dripping down the side of the scone – as this affects the rise of the scone.

Baking The Super Light Scones

Place your scones into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes. The scones are baked when well risen and lightly golden in colour. As soon as they are baked remove from the oven and transfer the scones to a baking rack to cool.

Delicious Super Light Scones - cooling!
Delicious Super Light Scones – cooling!

 

Once cooled, split in half and slather on your favourite jam. For added indulgence add a dollop of clotted cream and some sliced fruit. Enjoy with a refreshing cup of tea.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Super Light Scones you may also enjoy these:

Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins 

FF Super Light Scones
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

Spicy Sausage Rolls 

FF Super Light Scones
Spicy Sausage Rolls

Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

FF Super Light Scones
Super Easy Shortbread Cookies

These are a great treat and perfect for Fathers Day – you could use a larger cutter, just add a couple of minutes onto the baking time.

Most Dads just want to know they are loved. Making or baking them a gift is such a personal way to say I LOVE YOU.

What jam and fruit combo do you like with your scones?

Sammie x

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