Ad | PR samples*. Like for so many others, the lockdown has brought out the baker in me. I have stuck to what I know, which is sweet bakes but over the weekend, I attempted to make bread. I don’t think I’ve baked bread since the obligatory walnut bread baking class in secondary school. The closest I’ve got it heating up garlic bread in the oven. When I try something new, I don’t go easy on myself. I decided to make focaccia bread.
Sous Chef sent me an Italian themed food parcel a couple of weeks ago and on opening it, I found a bag of 00 flour, colourful pasta, a lovely serving bowl and two jars of pesto. I might make a pasta salad when I think the pasta is too cute to eat debating between making my own pizza dough or making bread with the flour, the coin fell on the latter. I have made pizza plenty of times before so I wanted to try something new. In addition to the red and green pesto, I bought some mozzarella to garnish with.
I have never made focaccia before but for a first attempt I think I did alright. It tasted lovely (you’ll have to trust me on that) but I think I could have done better with the texture. I need to get more air into the dough next time I attempt it. I have enough flour left to make another bread.
The green and red pesto are both delicious. I’ll definitely use the remainder of them to make pasta sauce. I think I might use the red as a pizza sauce next time I make pizza. I’m currently mixing mustard into my mayo but I might try with pesto as well. Pesto mayo is surely a thing.
Anyways, here’s the recipe I used to make the focaccia bread. I believe I found it on BBC Good Food’s website, slightly modified.
Focaccia Bread Recipe
500g bread flour, plus some for dusting
1.5 tsp salt
7g sachet yeast
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
125g mozzarella ball (drained)
5 tbsp pesto
How To Make Focaccia Bread
- Put the flour into a bowl and mix in the salt.
- In another bowl, mix the yeast into 325ml tepid water.
- Add the water and oil to the flour and mix well. When most of the liquid is mixed in, use your hands to make the ingredients into a ball.
- Tip the dough out onto a worktop lightly dusted with flour and work it by pulling and stretching for at least 10 mins. Try to get as much air into it as possible.
- Put the ball of worked dough into a well-oiled bowl. Cover it with a little more oil and a tea towel or cling film. Leave to rest for one hour or so in a non-draughty warm spot, until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, stretch it out onto a baking sheet until it’s about 20 x 30cm in size.
- Leave the dough to rise to about half as high again. For about 30-40 mins in a warm draught-free place, loosely covered with a tea towel.
- Heat oven to 180C or 160C if you have a fan oven.
- When the dough has risen, press your fingers into it gently to make some holes.
- Bake for about 15 mins, then remove from the oven.
- Tear over the mozzarella, then bake for another 5-10 mins until golden and cooked through.
- Drizzle over the pesto and scatter with sea salt, if you like.
- Serve straight away.
Have you made focaccia bread before? Any tips or tricks to share? What other flavours do you like?
*Sous Chef sent me the bundle of Italian foods in return for this blog post. Words, views and photos are my own.