Preheat the oven to 170ºC/340ºF. Whizz the peppercorns, rosemary needles and bay leaves in a food processor until finely chopped and fragrant. Mix together with the salt, flour and water to form a stiff dough. Roll the dough out to 1/2 to 1 cm thick. Encase the celeriac tightly within the dough, ensuring it is properly sealed. Trim away any excess. Place on a baking tray and bake for 2-3 hours, depending on the size of your celeriac.
Once cooked, crack open the salty armour (prepare to use a bit of muscle!) and scoop out all of the soft, yielding flesh into a mixing bowl. Using a hand blender (you could also a food processor) whizz the flesh into a purée, adding a little milk as you go to achieve a luscious consistency. The flesh will be soft so you shouldn't need much liquid.
For the farro risotto
Start by cooking the farro. Place in a pan with around twice its volume of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Whilst the farro is cooking, fry the bacon strips until golden and crisp, around 5 minutes.
In a heavy based pan heat 1 tablespoon of rapeseed or olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and celery along with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and golden, around 10-15 minutes. As they cook, add the splash of white wine, if using, or a splash of water. Check that the celery is no longer crunchy.
Add the rosemary and the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes until fragrant. Add in the bacon.
Add to the pan the cooked and drained farro, the celeriac purée and the vegetable stock. Heat through and stir until you have a creamy consistency, adding more stock or water if required. Season well with pepper - you shouldn't need much, if any, salt, but taste and season as you see fit.
Serve with soft poached eggs.
You will likely have excess salt dough - when I made this I salt-baked some potatoes too and they were delicious. I'm sure that you could use the leftovers to salt-bake all kinds of veggies!The purée can be made in advance and either kept in the fridge for a couple of days until needed or frozen. 1 celeriac yields around 2 cups of purée so you could either double this recipe to feed 4-6 or freeze half of the purée for another day.Makes enough risotto for two with some leftovers (or two hungry people!)Salt-baked celeriac recipe slightly adapted from Gut Gastronomy by Vicki Edgson and Adam Palmer via the Telegraph.