Sunday, August 30, 2009

Focaccia with Rosemary & Tomato

Finally, months after attending the Foundation Bread Making course at Creative Culinaire, I made bread at home.

(I've made pizza a couple of times, which they did teach during the course, but I used my old recipes, not the one taught at the course because it was too bread-like for my liking.)

Today, I made the focaccia, almost exactly according to the recipe, with the exception of the olives in the bread, because I forgot to buy them. I wanted to make focaccia partly because my rosemary is getting bigger and I thought it'd be good to start harvesting them to encourage further growth. I've found that with a lot of herbs, the more you harvest, the more they grow.

This is a pretty easy bread to make. Especially so if you used a machine to help knead the dough. I kneaded the dough using my hands, which was possible because the portion is not too large. Nevertheless, it was still pretty tiring. And having warm hands didn't really help.

Ingredients used

Dry ingredients
190g of Plain flour and Bread flour mix (equal proportions, sifted together)
4g Salt
4g Yeast
1/2 tsp Sugar

Wet ingredients
6g Honey
10g Greek olive oil
120g Water

Rosemary and Tomato Topping
A bunch of fresh rosemary
Some stewed tomatos
Black pepper to taste
10g Olive Oil

What I did
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together well
2. Add all the wet ingredients. 20g Chopped black olives can also be added, if available.
3. Knead til a smooth dough is formed
4. Cover with a clean wet towel for about 1 hour, till double in size
5. Punch down the dough and divide into 2
6. Shape dough and spread topping over dough
7. Proof till double in thickness
8. Bake at 190 deg C till cooked (about 15 - 20 mins)

For step 7, since I don't have a proofer at home, I covered the bread and a cup of very hot water with a large salad mixing bowl for about 40mins.

I was a little unsure if how it'd taste because I felt that I didn't knead the dough as well as I ought too. (I got a bit tired). But it turned out really soft and quite chewy. It must taste ok, because The Husband and I ate them all up in under 15 mins.

I enjoyed making this bread.. and eating it, of course. I think using my own rosemary added an extra kick to the bread.. Although next time, I think I'd leave the bread in my oven for a tad while longer, to give more colour to the bread.
Before baking, after proofing

After baking, still quite pale but soft and chewy already

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