Gill Meller’s flat breads with chilli and fennel sausage

by | May 25, 2023

INGREDIENTS

Serves 2

  • 250g (9oz) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ½ teaspoon quick yeast
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for trickling

For the topping

  • 6 pork sausages (about 500g/1lb 2oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1–2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1–2 teaspoons chilli flakes, plus extraFor sprinkling

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 burrata
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a handful fennel tops or young basil leaves, chopped, to serve

We’re so happy to have got hold of Gill Mellor’s latest book Outside: Recipes for a Wilder Way of Eating asnd even happier to be able to share a recipe from it. 

Gill’s book is a celebration of the joys of cooking and eating outside. Here’s to a lot more of it this year including this simple and filling idea for an outdoor breakfast that works just as easily inside on the stove.

Here is everything I want to eat, in one place, day or night. You can cook the flat breads in a heavy pan, but if I’m outside, I always prefer to lay them straight on the grill to bubble and blister. They’re smokier if you do them like this. It’s easy to make a veggie variation on this, using courgettes instead of sausage. Slice them thinly and fry them in the same way, with the fennel seeds, chilli and garlic.

METHOD

  1. To make the flat breads, place the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and add 150ml (5fl oz) of water and the extra-virgin olive oil. Mix everything thoroughly until it forms a dough. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes, until soft and smooth. 
  2. Shape the dough into a rough round and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and leave the dough to rise in a warm place. You can make the dough the day before you need it and put it in the fridge.
  3. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface, then cut it into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a nice, neat round and leave the rounds to rest for 20 minutes or so. When you’re ready to cook the flat breads, shape each piece of dough into a thin round – you can do this by hand, or with a rolling pin, if you like. Don’t worry if they’re not especially round – that doesn’t matter.
  4. When you’re ready to bring it all together, split the sausage skins and crumble the meat out into a bowl. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and a little extra salt and black pepper. Mix this together thoroughly. Place a large, heavy pan over a hot fire and add the extra-virgin olive oil. 
  5. Crumble in the spiced sausage meat and fry it for 5–10 minutes. Let it crisp up and caramelize in places and scrape at all the sticky bits in the pan as you go. Keep the spiced sausage warm.
  6. Set a grill over the hot embers, then lay the shaped flat breads down on the grill. They should cook nice and quickly.
  7. You’ll know they’re ready to turn, because they’ll begin to bubble up on the surface and smoke and steam. Flip them and cook the other side. They shouldn’t take any more than a minute. Place the flat breads on a board and trickle them with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with 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. Finish with a few extra chilli flakes, if you like, a scattering of chopped fennel tops or basil leaves and a healthy last trickle of extra-virgin olive oil.

RECIPE: Gill Meller from his latest book Outside. 

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