Homemade Goodness

I think I have thoroughly spoilt CH.

I made a tray of focaccia on Sunday evening for a dinner with J and her brood of boys. CH took a bite of the flat bread and announced that while the taste was right, the bread could do longer in the oven, as “it is a little too moist” and the bottom was not dark enough.

Gee, thanks! Now, I am taking culinary advice from someone whose sole duty in the kitchen is opening bottles of wine to go with the meal.

Back to the focaccia.

While I agree that the bread could do with 10 more minutes in the oven (you win, darling!), I must say that warm focaccia is a sure crowd-pleaser anytime and everytime. Homemade focaccia is always greeted with a “wow” and the fact that it is so simple to make, is a huge, huge bonus. What’s more, I feel better feeding my loved ones with bread that is made of just organic flour, water, olive oil and salt, with none of the preservatives and chemicals commercial bread has.

I made my focaccia, using a recipe adopted from Tessa Kiros, which requires only two tablespoons of olive oil, plus a little more to oil the baking tray. The result is light but flavourful.

Adopted from Tessa Kiros’ Apples for Jam

435ml warm water
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp honey or sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
650g flour
1.5 tsp salt

1) In a mixer bowl, or a big bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water, along with the honey/sugar, 1 tbsp of olive oil and 3 fistfuls of flour. Stir to mix well. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes for the yeast to bloom.

2) Mix the remainder of the flour into the yeast mixture, together with the salt. The dough will be sticky. I use my Kitchen-Aid to knead it for 7 minutes until the surface looks smooth and satiny. If not, do like what Tessa Kiros suggests, slap it around the bowl with oiled hands until the dough looks smooth.

3) Let the dough rest for 1.5 to 2 hours, until it doubles in size.

4) Pre-heat oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Grease a baking tray generously with olive oil. I use a 40cm square tray.

5) Knock down the dough with oiled hands to flatten it.

6) Spread the dough on the tray. Rest it for 30 minutes. In the meantime, mix the following: 100ml hot water, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp olive oil.

7) Dimple the slightly puffed dough with fingers and drizzle the salt water mixture evenly on top. This will give the bread a nice crust as it bakes.

8) Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.

This recipe is so versatile and easy. It is the most requested-for bread from CH. It seems, for now, none of the breads I’ve baked have managed to top this.

I have made versions of it with finely chopped rosemary thrown in at the kneading stage and roughly chopped olives when I am knocking it down. I simply love the rosemary and olives version as the herb gives it an incredible aroma and little bites of olives provide addictive burst of saltiness! I have added chopped sun-dried tomatoes also in another version and it was also yummy!

 

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One Response to “Homemade Goodness”

  1. janice Says:

    Thanks 🙂 I will definately try it

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