I’m always on the lookout for new food products from small producers, as these tend to be of much better quality than those mass produced.
This applies to all kinds of food, from oils and sauces through to meats and cheeses, but for this post I’d like to talk about bread. The quayside market in Newcastle upon Tyne is held every Sunday. It used to mainly consist of stalls selling what could be collectively described as ‘tat’, but recently the council have done a great job in attracting quality local food producers. It’s improved an awful lot lot since the early days. I pop down there most Sundays to see what’s going on, and last time I was there I bought a couple of sourdough loafs from the Black Sheep Bakery. This ‘one man band’ bakery cooks all breads in a wood fired oven, and from a sourdough starter mix. One of the loafs I bought was a Potato Stottie – it sounded interesting so I figured it would be worth a try!
I’m sure that most of you out there know what Stottie Bread is, but for the uninitiated it’s a flat bread with origins in the North East of England. The name ‘Stottie’ comes from the fact that the bread is ‘stotted’ off the floor of the oven to give it the instantly recognisable flat shape. This version is a twist on the traditional recipe though as it uses a sourdough starter (the original stottie is mixed and then proved in the usual way). It’s got that fantastic texture that a good sourdough always gives, and the inclusion of potatoes gives it a little more moisture than other breads. It’s a real winner!
It’s a great example of how the simplest of things can be utterly delicious. Dished up with fresh tomatoes, olives and with rapeseed oil drizzled over it gives a perfect lunch to snack on whilst waiting for your Sunday roast to cook!