Caramelised Radicchio and Winter Rhubarb Round Recipe

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makes: 2x500g loaves

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  • For the sponge ferment:
  • 3g/½teaspoon fresh yeast or 2g dried
  • 150g/5½oz water
  • 150g/5oz strong white flour
  • For the filling:
  • 300g/9oz pink winter (forced) rhubarb, cut into 4cm/11/2-inch pieces
  • 300g/9oz radicchio leaves, shredded
  • A nut of butter
  • For the dough:
  • 1 quantity of sponge ferment (above)
  • 3g/¼ oz yeast
  • 180g/6½oz Italian ‘00’ white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 60ml/4 tablespoons extra virgin or rapeseed oil
  • 5g sea salt
  • You will need:
  • 2 x baking sheets, 1 lined with baking parchment (for the rhubarb), 1 lightly greased


  • Put all the sponge ferment ingredients into a bowl, mix well and leave to ferment for 1 hour at room temperature.

  • The rhubarb and radicchio can be prepared ready to use in the next stage – allowing cooling time. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas mark 6. Put the rhubarb on the lined baking sheet and place the pieces of rhubarb on it, 1cm/½ inch apart. Bake for about 30 minutes, until they have roasted but are not browning. Some juice will leach out and evaporate

  • Put the radicchio in a frying pan with the butter and 1 tablespoon of water, and cook over a very low heat for about 15 minutes, until the radicchio is dark brown and tastes sweet. It must not burn, but it will lose its red colour

  • Put the dough ingredients, including the sponge ferment, into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat for about 10 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl to a floured worktop using dough scrapers. Scatter the rhubarb and radicchio over two-thirds of the surface. Fold into 3, like a letter, using floured dough scrapers to lift the dough. Pat the dough gently then fold again. Repeat one more time. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight

  • The following day, take the dough from the fridge. It will be bubbly and firm. Scrape it out of the bowl on to the worktop then lift one edge with a scraper, bringing it into the centre. Repeat, working around the piece of dough, by which time you will have a neat round. Pick up the dough, turn it over so the smooth side is uppermost, and place it on the greased baking sheet. Dust it with a light covering of flour, if it is not already quite floury. Leave to prove for 1 hour, until well risen

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Before baking, make a series 4 of shallow slashes on the surface of the round with a blade, like a windmill. Bake for 20–30 minutes or until pale brown and airy. Cool on the baking sheet, then eat sliced.

Top Tip for making Caramelised Radicchio and Winter Rhubarb Round

This has a wet dough that collapses in to a flattish, round bread

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