I’m no Paul Hollywood but I have to say I’m quite liking my bread making experience recently. For Christmas I got Ajay a bread making course. I thought it would be a nice brother sister bonding day making bread together…etc.etc. Although the class wasn’t as mind blowing as I thought but I did learn how easy Focaccia bread is to make!
For me this is one of those things to make on a Sunday when bored! The smell the bread makes whilst in the oven is incredible! I know it’s strange to say but personally I feel like an old Italian grandmother when making this. You seriously don’t need any special equipment just the tools god gave you (your hands)!
I think you can add anything to this bread…from peppers to oregano, even to different infused flavoured oils…it’s one of those chuck it all in and see what we get types of dishes!
The base to every bread is Yeast, Sugar, Warm water and salt…then you’re ready to go!
As you can see the post is called ‘Spelt’ Focaccia so I’m obviously going to be using spelt flour. You can use normal white flour just be careful how much flour you add. And don’t panic if you get carried away with the flour, just add a drop of water. I am one of those, ‘Organic is best’- but if you cant get it don’t worry tesco values is just as good (I’m lying).
And no I don’t think your dumb if you don’t know how to knead. There is kind of an art to it! once you mix the dough till smooth, plonk it on the table. Make sure you’ve sprinkled a little flour on the table!
Push the dough, using the bottom of your palm away from you.
Then pull the furthest tip back toward you and repeat the process for a good few minutes. This is if you using spelt flour. If using normal white flour knead for 10-15 minutes! By the end of it you’ll have a good set of guns!
You’ll notice you’re folding makes layers. With White flour the kneading makes the dough more stretchy, that will be the gluten-Food Devil. Why I think its the devil is because that is what bloats you, making it a bad carb! Yes my mum is a health food addict! she is the reason I made this with Spelt flour-so she could eat it!
To make that authentic Focaccia style. you literally just dab 2 fingers into the bread, to create those dimples. Obviously you start from one corner to the other.
- 200ml of lukewarm water
- 1tsp of dried active yeast
- 1/2 tsp sugar (this is to feed the yeast and help it grow!)
- 1 pinch of salt
- Spelt Flour or Flour (Now I haven’t given a precise amount because it can vary. Just have at least 1/2 a pack at your side)
- 1 Sun-dried Tomato
- 5 olives (either colour)
- A Few sprigs of Rosemary
- Olive Oil/Rapeseed Oil (I use basil infused oil. Try Garlic oil or even chilli oil)
- Salt and pepper for seasoning on top
- Add together the water, yeast, sugar and salt and whisk together. I would advise leaving it for a couple of minutes
- Gradually add the flour until a good consistency. You would rather add less flour to start so you can add more when kneading. Especially with spelt flour, use less flour and see.
- Now, use those guns and knead the dough for a good 3 minutes!
- Put in a bowl and cover with cling film. leave in a warm place for an hour. I usually leave the oven on and keep the door slightly open. that’s my warm spot!
- after 40 minutes place into square tray and flatten down. using your 2 fingers dab all over and sprinkle your delicious toppings and oil.
- Whack it in the oven on 200c for 30 minutes or until golden!
- leave to cool for another half an hour and enjoy!
I love this literally cut up and served with Balsamic reduction and olive oil! you could even use chilli oil with some salt rocks in it!
The idea of this is to give you inspiration to jazz it up yourself. add more crushed salt, experiment with different herbs, go wild. Just don’t forget to mention me when you get asked for the recipe!