Malted Bread Flour – 150g
White Bread Flour – 600g
Dried yeast – 1tsp
Water – 450ml
Salt – 2tsp
Olive oil – 2tbsp
Cheddar Cheese – 150g
Frozen chopped spinach – 100g
Tomato Puree – 2tsp
Kalamata olives – 9
Egg – 1
Butter, melted - 10g
Two days before baking: mix the malted bread flour, 150ml water and the yeast together to a sponge. Leave overnight covered in a bowl.
The day before baking: add the white bread flour, remaining water (300ml), olive oil and salt. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl and cover. Leave to prove in a fridge overnight (alternatively you can leave to rise for one hour at room temperature and then proceed directly to the next stage).
On the day of baking: knead the cheese into the dough. Line one large and one small baking tray with parchment paper and dust with flour or semolina flour.
Separate enough dough to form the caterpillar’s head. Knead the tomato puree into this piece of dough. Shape into a head shape and place on the parchment paper on the large baking tray.
Cook the spinach lightly and then place in a fine seive and squeeze out any excess water using a fork or the back of a spoon. Knead the spinach into the remaining dough. Separate a piece of large enough to form one nice green leaf. Place on the small baking tray. Cut the remaining dough into 21 pieces and form into rugby ball shapes and place on the large baking tray in a caterpillar shape, attaching them to the head shape. Press olives into the dough to form eyes, nose, antennae and feet.
Cover with lightly oiled film and leave to rise for about 90 minutes if the dough has been in the fridge (or around an hour if the dough was at room temperature) until you have a big fat caterpillar.
Preheat the oven to the highest temperature (probably around 230-240C). Glaze the caterpillar and leaves with a mixture of egg and melted butter. Glaze the head of the caterpillar more heavily than the body. Score veins into the leaf shape and place the dough on the lower shelf of the oven. Place the caterpillar on the higher shelf of the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, reducing the oven temperature to around 180C (fan) after 5 minutes or so.
Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.