What a great weekend, the sun was shining and it felt like summer (a bit weird with no leaves on the trees) Anyway I got stuck into a bit of baking and it was definitly worth all the effort. A couple of years ago I did an Italian cookery course with Christine at Tasteworks and it was money well spent. Each week she covered the basic staples of the Italian kitchen and I learned how to make yeast dough and gorgeous focaccia bread. Following the classes I was full of enthusiasm and baked loads but slowly got out of the habit of making yeast dough. Anyway this Sunday was the day to get back into it, I needed a refresher from YouTube on how to knead dough but it came back to me once I got stuck in. It tasted fab and worth all the effort…..
BASIC WHITE YEAST BREAD
1lb/45og strong white flour
300-320 mls warm water
1.5 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 sachet of easy blend yeast
Mix all your dry ingredients in a bowl and add the water and oil. Mix and then turn out onto flowered worktop and knead for 10-15 mins. Place in an oiled bowl cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm kitchen with no draughts for about 1 hour until it doubles in size. Knock back and leave to rise for again, then press out air and leave to rest for 10 mins. Flatten out into a rect. baking sheet, then dimple with your fingers. You can use whatever toppings you want, I put olives, red onion, basil and garlic on one half and on the other I put fresh rosemary, sprinkled it all with rock salt and drizzled lots and lots of olive oil.
Bake in hot oven for 20 to 30 mins….eat while hot
I served the focaccia with baked potatoes, tomatoes and herbs. Put chopped potatoes, tomatoes and fresh herbs in a oven proof dish with some red onion, chopped garlic, olive oil and a little water (enough to cover the the bottom of the dish) Bake for about 45 mins. yummy….