It's no secret that the cycladic island of Milos stole my heart.

Not only was it beautiful, the food was great. Each night I dined at a local restaurant in Plaka called Archontoula and each day I'd buy a pie for lunch from the local bakery, Palaios.

Most days I'd buy a cheese pie but one day I tried the tomato pie, a speciality of Milos known as Ladenia.

Essentially the ladenia is a tomato topped foccacia. 

I wanted to recreate the pie at home and found a recipe online adapted from one supplied by the bakery. 

Instead of cherry tomatoes, I decided to make the topping with some heirloom tomatoes roasted with Greek oregano, thyme and finely sliced onions. 

Here's the recipe for you which makes one 20cm ladenia. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

400g ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp dried greek oregano
2 sprigs thyme, leaves
3 tbs olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

135g white flour, plus more to dust
½ tsp fine salt
1½ tsp dry yeast
90 mls warm water
1 tsp olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for greasing

Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Toss together the cherry tomatoes, onions, Greek oregano, thyme and 2 tbs of the olive oil. Season and place in a single layer on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until the onions are golden and the tomatoes are beginning to brown and soften.

Put the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, add the yeast, water and oil and mix thoroughly; the dough will be fairly sticky at this stage. On a floured surface, start to knead the dough, using floured hands and knuckles to stretch the dough out before folding it back on itself. (If it is really too sticky to do this, add a tablespoon or two more flour to the mix.) Knead for 10 minutes, by which time the dough will be smooth and pliable. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size. (Depending on the temperature, it may take longer to double in size. You can tell when it has finished rising as the dough will dent rather than spring back when you press it.)

Once the dough has risen, knock it back: use your hands to squash it back to roughly its original size. Oil a 20 cm round baking tray with a tablespoons of olive oil. Stretch and push out the dough to fill a 20 cm round baking tray, or to form a 20 cm circle on a large baking tray. Using your fingertips, gently dimple the surface of the dough. Set aside for 15 minutes to rise again.

Preheat the oven to 240ºC. When ready to cook, place the tomato and onion over the base. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the ladenia, season again with salt and pepper and place it in the oven. Lower the oven to 200ºC and cook for 30 minutes or until the dough has puffed up and is golden brown and the tomatoes are completely cooked.  Eat while still warm.

The tomato pie I had was made with a generous amount of oil and I suspect the online recipe heavily reduced the quantity. Next time I'd add more olive oil to the dough and I'd line the tray with baking paper as it the dough stuck like crazy to the baking dish. Served lukewarm it was delicious and I demolished the whole thing for my lunch.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


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