Week 15 – Focaccia
I guess I am updating my blog after ages, it’s just been a crazy couple of weeks both at work and at the personal front. And most of the days I am just not even on my laptop and I can’t think of writing this post from my ipad. How will I copy links to my photos here. Anyways that’s another story all together.
So this post is almost from a recipe I made 2 months back but getting a chance to write about it now.
Focaccia is the simplest bread one can make, if you are new to bread baking I will highly recommend starting off with focaccia, even if the bread dough fails to rise like not being able to contain itself in the bowl, still it will turn out to be an excellent bread. Nowadays I completely use whole wheat flour or atta in my baking, probably with just a sprinkling of all purpose flour, much more healthier.
– Use topping of your choice – sliced tomatoes, olives or sliced onions or use a combination
– some fresh or dried herbs – like thyme, oregano, rosemary
– pepper and salt
– olive oil, to brush the bread and drizzle
– Use a parchment paper to line a flat baking tray, I usually use the built in tray provided by my oven
– roughly roll out the bread dough which has been rising for a couple of hours.
– Push it towards the edges using your hands
– Brush the bread with some olive oil
– Spread topping of your choice like tomatoes, onions, etc in a single layer
– sprinkle with the herbs and pepper
– Drizzle some more olive oil
– Allow this to bake in slow oven, ( not more than 160 Degress C) for around 30 to 45 mins. I say slow oven because this will let the tomatoes dry out if using else it becomes soggy. The prepared bread would be have turned golden brown and will sound hollow on being tapped.
**Basic Bread Recipe ( makes 1 loaf)
I use this recipe every week to prepare fantastic bread for my week ahead, it’s so much of hassle free on weekdays, where I know I am eating a hearty healthy breakfast in a jiff.
3 cups of whole wheat flour or atta
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp salt
1 (2 teaspoon) package dry yeast (you can buy granular yeast at any superstore, look for boxes next to baking powder, baking soda where all the baking accessories are racked)
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) – best is to microwave water for 30 seconds
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1. Microwave water along with sugar for 30 seconds, when touched it should feel lukewarm, remember managing the temperature of yeast is the most critical part of bread baking.
2. Sprinkle the granular yeast over water (if using active dry yeast, mix it directly with flour). Let it stand for 15-20 mins until bubbly and has doubled in volume.
3. Meanwhile mix 1 cup of flour with salt, set it aside.
4. Now mix the yeast mixture with flour, add milk, vegetable oil and just mix to combine. Don’t bother to mix every speck of flour.
5. Cover and let it aside for atleast 1/2 hour to 1 hour till foamy and has doubled in volume.
6. Mix in the remaining flour and knead to form a smooth dough adding more or less water as necessary
7. Keep it in a oiled vessel and let it rise for 2 hours or till doubled in volume.
8. Take the dough, punch it down and roll it in a rough rectangular block. Now roll the bread over and tuck the edges.
9. Place the dough in a prepared loaf tin (oiled). Either brush it with oil or just spray some water, till the surface is moistened. This will help it from drying out.
10. At this stage I place the bread directly in cold oven, and let it rise for about an hour. Reason why I place it in oven is that I don’t have to cover it with moist cloth, since while removing them it tends to lose it’s volume. And it also will not dry out in an enclosed space.
11. Keep a check on rising bread and make sure it doesn’t start overflowing from the edges, as has happened with me several times.
12. Switch on the oven to about 160 degrees C and let bake for about 45 mins till golden brown and taps hollow.
13. Remove from oven, immediately brush it with some oil, this is important else all the moisture will evaporate rapidly when bread is out of oven and you will have a dry bread. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it cool for about 1/2 hour before transfering it to bags for storing.
And some summer cooler too
And I also wanted to show off my newly purchased ipad