Having a few days off over Christmas gave me time to explore one of my passions- bread-making!
I threw out the bread-making machine several years ago when square loaves with slight-taste-of-teflon-coating no longer gave me a HIGH that all bread-making junkies crave- and that is tastes great and looks great!
I always marvel at just how easy ‘gourmet’ breads are to make. Of course its easier and quicker to pop to the baker’s but you’ll pay $3 to $4 for a special Italian, Hungarian, Irish, British, French loaf. I use organic flour and still my loaf comes in at a fraction of the price..
Here is a recipe for a loaf I made just a few days ago!
Italian Onion Focaccia
MAKES 2 ROUND LOAVES
1 1/2 lbs of strong flour (get those scales out!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspooon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons quick rise dried yeast
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
3/4 pint (450 ml) hand hot water
2 red onions thinly sliced
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse salt
WHAT TO DO
Sift flour, salt and sugar into large bowl. stir in yeast, oil and water and mix to a dough.
Turn out onto lightly floured smooth surface and knead for 5 minutes or so until dough is nice and smooth and silky. put dough into a clean bowl and place bag or saran wrap over bowl and place somewhere warm and leave to rise until double in size.
Pre-heat oven to 200 centigrade / 400 farenheit / gas mark 6
Halve dough and knead a little and form into 2 x roughly 10 inch diameter roundy shapes onto a clean baking tray (I use parchment paper too)
Cover with clean dampened tea towel and set aside for 15-20 mins to rise again.
Next use your finger to make deep holes in each loaf around 1 inch apart.
Scatter with the onions- place lots on!
Sprinkle with salt and then a little cold water to stop crust forming
Drizzle with olive oil
Cook for about 25 minutes and then cool on wire rack
Add extra salt if needed
Voila! Scrummy, handmade, italian bread!!