Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Focaccia Bread

I can't say I am a great bread maker although I do throw some ingredients into my breadmaker machine at least twice a week. I use a German Grain bread mix established by Friedrich Laucke in his first flour mill in the Barossa Valley in 1899. Since then, four generations of the Laucke family have continued to produce flour and mixes that remain Australian owned and operated.  This makes me feel good,  not only am I supporting Australian made, and is very reasonably priced - 4 individual bread packets including yeast for under $8.00,  the bread is thick, heavy and delicious, and it smells soooo good while it is slowly chugging away in the bread maker. However, this is probably still seen as cheating by the "real" makers of bread.
German Grain Bread Mix
Bakers Flour
So when the Random Recipe Challenge for this month was bread, I thought this is my trigger to actually make bread from scratch, on my own, elbow grease and all! An unbelievable fact is I don't have a Bread Book purely dedicated to the subject matter. Dilemma dilemma! The only alternative was to drag out all my books that have bread recipes embedded and pick one of those.  So in true "pin the tail on the donkey" style I ended up with Focaccia from Lorraine Pascale's "Baking Made Easy"  an excellent book that my friend June gave me as a goodbye present when we were in the UK last year.
Lorraine's book is simple and lovely - clear recipes and nice simple but perfect photos, well worth the investment (thank you June).
Order Book Here

Ingredients

500g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
1 x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
80ml olive oil plus a little to drizzle
150 - 250ml warm water
Vegetable oil or oil spray for oiling
1 bunch fresh rosemary sprigs
Large pinch of sea salt for sprinkling

What to do...
Rosemary studded going into oven

  • Dust a large flat baking tray with flour
  • Put dry ingredients in a bowl and add olive oil plus enough warm water to make a soft but not sticky dough.  
  • The dough should feel pliable not tight or difficult to knead.
  • The more water that can be added the lighter the bread will be, but resist the temptation of add more flour.
  • Knead by hand for about 10 mins! (This is good for those "tuck shop" arms) or 5mins in an electric mixer with a dough hook.
  • The dough will feel stretchy when pulled.
  • Test by making a ball with the dough and press a shallow indent  1/4" in the side, if the indent disappears by way of springing back the dough is ready to shape, if not keep kneading!
  • Shape into an oval and place on the tray flatten out to 12in" long 8"wide cover loosely with the oiled cling film (but make sure it is airtight).
  • Preheat oven to 200C (400F) Mark 6 
  • Leave dough in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  • With a floured finger press holes in the dough - right down to the bottom - at regular intervals .
  • Take sprigs of rosemary and press into the holes. 
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and place in the top third of the oven.
  • Bake for 25-30mins or until well risen, golden and sounds hollow when bottom is tapped.
  • Remove from the oven, drizzle with a little olive oil and leave to cool on the baking tray .
  • Perfect served warm with olives or a hearty bowl of my pumpkin soup. 
Once again I am trying to scrape into Belleau Kitchen's Random Recipe's for May!

Check out my other attempts at breadmaking here Butternut pumpkin and feta loaf.


22 comments:

  1. I love focaccia but have never made it... yours looks exactly how I love it, nice and cakey... I can only but imagine how incredible it looks... it's beautiful, thanks so much for the entry!

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  2. Lovely focaccia & so inviting! YUM!

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  3. I've never made focaccia butI really should because this looks so yummy and delicious. I bet it must have a wonderful aroma as it's cooking xx

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    1. The rosemary smell was wonderful and we had a little bowl of lemon scented olive oil for dipping which was just perfect.

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  4. I love foccacia and this sounds quite simple. I also love the sound of your butternut pumpkin and feta bread, they are two of my favourite ingredients so I will definitely try both these recipes at some time. You can't beat that fresh bread smell can you.

    I missed the challenge this month. I had baked some Persian milk bread rolls but thought tomorrow was the deadline and so hadn't written the post in time. I will post the recipe when I have a little more time.

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    1. Oh Debby what a shame you missed the deadline, mind you I think I only got in by the skin of my teeth this month too. Will look out for your Persian milk bread rolls.

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  5. Well I know that the 'real' bakers frown on breadmaker machines, but I love mine and I don't care who knows it. But I could eat focaccia until it comes out of my ears and your version looks lovely.

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    1. Oh Phil so glad that you are part of the breadmaker machine club! I am not on my own then. Focaccia was lovely and will definitely be making this one again.

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  6. I am impressed that you make bread twice a week - oh to be so productive! And I love the look of your focaccia - looks delicious

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    1. My husband loves it and really with a breadmaker I do sometimes feel like all the hard work is done for me. Thanks for popping by.

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  7. Your focaccia looks delicious.

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    1. Thanks so much. Hope you pop by again.

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  8. So it seems this month is all about the focaccia! My rosemary is growing like a weed so every little sprinkle counts.

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    1. I know how random is that! Rosemary is so versatile - I even put it in my linen cupboard.

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  9. I love focaccia bread. I've only made it once and made it easier by making the dough in the breadmaker. I'm sure the rosemary in yours must have given it a lovely smell as well as taste.

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    1. The kitchen smelt heavenly I am so a fan of rosemary. Thanks for popping by.

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  10. Thanks SO much for sweet words on my blog:) I love your blog to Its full of yummy inspiration in every post.

    If you like Bardot...check out my new post:)

    have an amazing day dear

    LOVE Maria

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    1. Thank you - had a look at your eclectic blog too - some lovely interesting things.

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  11. Mmmmm - I think I could polish off quite a few slices of this.

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    1. Yes it was very dangerous, but lovely with some soup too.

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