You may not share my excitement as there are millions of bloggers out there but I am kinda shy and I KNOW I am a rubbish writer. Hold on -I know I can’t write a novel building up a story with interesting characters and describing them in depth over pages BUT I am great in writing instructions and facts like recipes, ingredients, how to etc.
My passion was always baking and cooking so have been teaching baking for the last three years because it is such a great craft, distraction from a stressful job, interaction with your children and of course your home-baked goods are much better for you than buying a shop bought additive-laden product.
As the first recipe I will share the one most included in my baking classes – Focaccia – a flat Italian bread.
Here is my easy, quick on the side, appetiser or dipping instrument bread made within 90minutes before guest arriving.
- 320g Strong white Flour
- 255g Water (28° C)
- 5g Sea Salt
- 15g Fresh Yeast or 5g dry active yeast
- 10g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Some Sea Salt and fresh rosemary to sprinkle on top
This should fit a baking tray of 40 x 30cm. If your tray is smaller your focaccia will be slightly higher.
Weigh the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and stir. Make a well in the middle adding the yeast, oil and water. Mix with a hand-held mixer on slowest setting until all flour is mixed and then increase to high until smooth, shiny and gluten as developed. You should take some dough between your fingers and stretch apart more than 2cm without tearing the dough. The dough consistency should be soft and sticky as we have 80% hydration.
Cover your tray with siliconised baking paper, poor a generous amount of olive oil in the centre where you will put your dough in one ball with a spatula. Dip your fingers into the oil that they dont stick. Now you are going to make a three letter fold stretching out to the right and dropping to the middle, then stretching out to the left and dropping over. Then we do the same from top and bottom and quickly turn the whole thing over so you folding is on the bottom and you end up with a rectangle covered everywhere in olive oil. Flatten slightly and push into shape with your fingers. Cover your tray with a cling film and rest at a max temperature of 30° C for 20-30 minutes. Your dough should have doubled in size and relaxed to be stretched. Put the cling film over (you still need to cover again) and carefully go underneath the dough with your hands to stretch it out to fill your whole tray. Be careful to keep the thickness even. Level out with some finger pushing from the top. Cover again and leave until risen – another 20-30 minutes. Take the cling film off and sprinkle with sea salt and stick some rosemary into the dough without damaging the air.
Preheat your oven to 250° C and bake for 10-12 minutes.