Baking is always a pleasure.
For those who are considering to bake a fresh loaf of bread for lunch or diner, the following paragraphs are going to help you out to make it happen.
For many of us, the thought of making bread is always tempting but at the same time discouraging as it’s a long process. Creating a starter, then mixing the right quantity of flour, water and starter. The right environment is important as the dough must prove slowly to get the right crispiness, texture, shape and flavour. Making bread is a some kind of science and sometimes multiple ‘practice loafs’ are necessary before you get the loaf you wished for. You can see why store bought bread is so appealing! However, I have 2 options for you that are easy, quick, cheap and delicious. And you can feel proud you baked your own loaf!
A few months ago, I have posted a recipe to make a soda bread. Click here to see the recipe. This was ideal during lockdown as I could not get fresh yeast (yeast was a precious commodity like dry pasta and loo rolls!) and you do not need any yeast for soda bread.
Fresh yeast is now back on the shelf at the supermarket and I have been able to play with some new recipes the past few weeks.
To make this focaccia, the most precious ingredient that it needs is time! To get a soft texture, a crusty edge, and the right shape, this dough needs to be proofed twice. But again, the main ingredients are basic, cheap and easy to purchase.
The recipe step by step
Ingredients: 500g strong flour; 17g fresh yeast, 365g lukewarm water; 10g of salt and a generous splash of olive oil.
In a metal bowl mix the fresh yeast with the lukewarm water. When the fresh yeast is dissolved properly, add the liquid to the flour and salt in another metal bowl.
With a wooden spoon start working the mixture gently. When all the ingredients are combined homogeneously, add the olive oil. Work the dough with your hands for five minutes.
Leave it rest for one hour or until the dough double size up. (I put mine in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave on the worktop on a warm kitchen.)
Then, transfer the dough on a clean worktop and start kneading the dough for 5 more minutes.
Oil generously a non-stick baking tray and put the dough inside. Leave it proof it for one more hour.
Meanwhile, turn the oven on at 200 degrees Celsius.
Before putting the focaccia in the oven, brush gently the top with some olive oil and sparkle some Maldon salt and fresh thyme. (You can use whichever herbs you fancy or have in the store cupboard.)
Bake the focaccia for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Et voilá! Homemade, fresh foccacia made with love!