A bread born in Italy, made in east London and brought to you by Flour Station
Some food names are descriptive—milk pudding, say, or sourdough bread. Others are onomatopoeic: think crackers or soft, airy sponge. But the best names, to our minds, are those which sum up not just the look and feel of a food, but its very flavour: semolina, schnitzel and our current food muse, focaccia—born in Italy and made in east London each morning, before joining the mouth-boggling array of breads at Flour Station‘s stall.
We chose the roasted peppers. We’d cite health reasons, but really it was the jewel-like colours that caught our attention: thin slivers of ruby reds and rich, warm yellows draped majestically over undulating gold blankets.
The dough is The Flour Station’s signature starter sourdough, stretched out into sheets then poked all over by the bakers to make little divots which fresh herbs, seasoning and olive oil can nestle in before baking, ensuring the flavour really permeates. “It’s Gennaro Contaldo’s recipe, a great Italian chef,” says Jasmine at the stall. “I like it because it’s a snack, but it can be a meal if you have meat or cheese on the side.”
No need to be religious about it: Jasmine claims Graceburn from Neal’s Yard Dairy works just as well as an Italian cheese, “or even manchego”. Ever impatient, we tuck in immediately—we’ll get cheese another time. It’s momentarily crisp, with a herby tang from the olive oil, then the ensuing chew is as soft, squidgy and comforting as a big duvet. The literal translation of focaccia couldn’t be more fitting: bread by the hearth.