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Ftira (Maltese bread)

Makes 1 loaf


For the Tinsila:

50g strong white bread flour

50ml tepid water

3g dried yeast / 6g fresh

For the Ftira

Tinsila starter

500g strong white bread flour

320ml tepid water

7g Organic dried yeast

8g salt


Day 1 - Tinsila

Mix 3g yeast with 50ml water until dissolved.
Add 50g flour and mix well. Cover and leave overnight.

Day 2 - Ftira

Dissolve the yeast and Tinsila in 320ml water by squeezing the dough between your fingers.

Once dissolved, add flour, yeast and salt and mix well. Pull off a piece approximately 100g and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer ready for the next loaf. Allow to rest for 30mins.

Turn out and fold 12 times to shape into a ball and place back into the bowl and cover for 2hrs.

After 2hrs, turn out and lightly press the dough ensuring not to knock too much air out. Fold 6 times shaping back into a ball, dusting with flour and rest in the bowl again for another 2hrs.

Turn out again, press and fold another 6 times, dust and rest in the bowl for 1hr.

Turn out and pre-shape the dough, folding into a tight ball, dusting with flour and allowing to rest, covered loosely with a tea towel on the table for 30mins.

lightly spread the dough and shape up ready to go into an oval proving basket. Lay the dough seam side up in the basket and refrigerate overnight.

Day 3 - Bake

Bring dough to room temperature whilst oven pre-heats to 230oC and kettle boils. Place a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven.

Turn dough out onto floured bakers peel and cut the loaf end to end with a sharp knife or grignette.

slide the loaf onto a baking stone or hot baking tray and pour hot water in the bottom tray in the oven. Close the door and bake for 15mins.

Turn down to 190oC and bake for 20-25mins.

Cool on a wire rack completely.

Eat and enjoy!