Walking into Clintonville's Flowers & Bread, you're first greeted by the gorgeous floral studio where custom arrangements are designed daily. Then an aromatic greeting takes over: the warm, inviting scent of fresh bread baked on-site, opposite the studio space, for the cafe that joins the two.
Nearly two years in the making, Flowers & Bread is the sister concept of neighboring cooking school and event space The Seasoned Farmhouse. It was formed through the shared passions of partners Tricia Wheeler and Sarah Lagrotteria, who worked to reinvent the once-residential property into a community gathering place for everything from your daily coffee to classes (both food- and floral-focused), as well as events ranging from pop-up dinners to bridal showers.
Head baker Sarah Black intends to use grains from local producers such as Shagbark Seed & Mill and Stutzman Farms in her breads, which include ficelle (a thinner version of the French baguette), a farmhouse loaf known as “milk bread” and focaccia, topped with seasonal ingredients or with one of Black's favorite combinations like the one below. flowersandbread.com
Olive, Tomato and Cilantro Focaccia from Flowers & Bread*
Start To Finish: 3.5–4 hours
Ingredients:1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast 16 ounces bread flour 2 teaspoons salt Olive oil
Suggested toppings:5–6 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved Tomato paste Cilantro paste (in a tube) Parmesan cheese
Dissolve active dry yeast in 1 1/2 ounces of hot water (105–115 degrees). Set aside.
In a bowl, mix bread flour and salt. In a separate bowl, measure 11 ounces of cool water (68–70 degrees), then make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add yeast and water mixture first. Little by little, add cool water.
Mix from center, letting flour come to you, so you don't end up with big knots of dough. Using your hand as a spatula (fingers together and straight up and down), mix clockwise until all ingredients are incorporated. When dough is a rough and shaggy mess, let it rest for 15 minutes with a towel draped over the bowl.
After resting, place dough on a lightly floured surface and begin folding by patting into a rectangle. Then fold the dough top-down, bottom-up, right-side-in, left-side-in, finally turning over. The dough will have come together and smoothed out after folding.
In a lightly oiled bowl, cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and let ferment for 1.5–2 hours. When dough has doubled in volume, turn it out into a 12-14-inch, heavy-duty cake pan or a round pizza pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, patting it into the dough. Gently push dough to the edges of the pan. Let dough proof for 30–45 minutes, then dimple and flatten slightly to prepare for topping.
Place olives in the center of dough, make 4–5 petal outlines with cilantro paste, then fill in with tomato paste and top with Parmesan cheese.
Spritz dough with water, then bake in a 400-degree oven for approximately 30 minutes. When focaccia is finished baking, let cool for 10–15 minutes before cutting.
*Recipe adapted from “One Dough, Ten Breads” by Sarah Black, available at Flowers & Bread (3870 N. High St.) and online at Amazon.com