This recipe came about as a result of my obsession with chia seeds. I sprinkle them on pasta and rice dishes, hot and cold dishes, sweet and savoury dishes, but this is my first attempt at cooking, or rather baking, with chia seeds. They are increasingly popular but I don’t think it’s just a passing trend, no, I think chia seeds are here to stay. First of all they are fantastically healthy – they are high in fibre, Omega 3 and protein (there is as much as 20 g of protein in 100 g of chia). They are convenient as they can be eaten raw. They also have a neutral flavour which lends itself to both sweet and savoury dishes. They are available in most supermarkets now and their prices have gone down too. And when you bite them they pop in your mouth like sherbet! Happily they retain this exceptional characteristic even in baking as I’ve discovered with this bread. This bread recipe does not contain any yeast so preparation time is minimal. The recipe really is very easy and if you are not very confident with your kneading skills this is the place to start. This savoury bread is a great snack to pop in your child’s lunchbox or your picnic basket. Wrapped in paper and stored in a cool place it will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
1 and 1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup semi skimmed milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 – 3/4 cup extra mature cheddar (or other strong cheese), coarsely grated
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1/3 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C/ gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and chia. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the egg and oil. Add the milk, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes and stir well. Add the flour mixture and combine using a large spoon. When the mixture starts to solidify knead it to form the dough into a ball. This will only take a minute and can be done without removing the mixture from the bowl. Transfer the dough onto the baking sheet and flatten until the dough is about 1.5 cm thick (don’t worry, it will rise). Bake for 30-35 minutes.