Eeeeek bread week!!!
I have never in my life succesfully baked bread before, so I was even more nervous this week than biscuit week. So I really did my research this time as to what was the most fool proof bread recipe, and to my surprise everyone said Foccaccia. It's so fancy and beautiful that I never thought it could be so easy, but it actually is.
I think that focaccia in itself is such a beautiful bread that I didn't want to be over zealous with the flavourings, and stuck with a simple sage and olive, inspired by the good old Rosemary Shrager.
If any of you out there are considering getting into bread baking, this is a definitely a brilliant beginners recipe. Given my track record ( we're talking loafs of solid rock here) if I can do it, anyone can.
500g strong plain white flour
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil
300ml tepid water
2 tbsp chopped black olives
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
3 tbsp garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea or rock salt (optional)
- Place flour, yeast and salt into a bowl and mix well.
- Add the oil and most of the water and mix.
- Add the remainder of the water to bring together to form a soft dough (I found I needed bit more flour).
- Knead for 5 minutes until smooth, allow to rest for 5 minutes and then knead in the olives and sage.
- Tip into a large bowl, cover with lightly oiled cling film and put in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Make indentations in the top with your thumb and sprinkle half the chopped garlic over each loaf, and then pour over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Lay the sage leaves over the top and sprinkle with salt crystals.
- Cook at 230ºC (450ºF) Gas Mark 8 for 15-20 minutes.