Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Baking for beginners: Grape Focaccia

Focaccia is one of my favourite breads to make and eat. Well, any bread that oozes fruity extra virgin olive oil is a winner in my book. The sweetness of the roasted grapes, the crunchy salt crystals and the heavily perfumed rosemary all mingle with the soft bread and olive oil to make my perfect loaf.

You can top your focaccia with anything you want really: caramelised onions, olives, goats cheese, sun dried tomatoes, whatever takes your fancy, but for me the simplicity of this is what works so well. Plus it's got fruit on it so this loaf has now become one of your five a day.

There are so many recipes for focaccia dough, each one slightly different but I really like Paul Hollywood's recipe because it always produces a great loaf.

You'll need:
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt (for dough)
  • 14g easy blend yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400ml water
  • extra virgin olive oil (for kneading and drizzling over the top)
  • seedless grapes
  • few sprigs of rosemary
  • sea salt flakes for the top of the loaf
Make it!
  1. Put your flour, fine sea salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml of the water in a bowl and mix together to form a wet dough. Knead for 5 minutes gradually adding the remaining water.
  2. Once all the water has been added continue to knead and stretch the dough for about another five minutes until is is smooth and elastic.
  3. Put some olive oil on your work surface and then knead the dough again, this works the olive oil into the dough and it's what makes Paul's method so effective in my book.
  4. Put your dough back into your bowl, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave until it has doubled in size. Depending on how warm your house is this can take between 1-3 hours.
  5. Tip your dough into an oiled flat bottomed roasting tray and squash it into a rectangle shape to fill the tray. Cover again and leave to rise for the same time it took previously.
  6. Preheat your oven to 220C. Using your finger make deep dents in the dough and put a grape in each one. Drizzle liberally with the extra virgin olive oil, sea salt flakes and rosemary then put in the oven for 20 minutes or until the base of the loaf is cooked. Once out of the oven drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil (yes MORE, told you this was a great loaf!) and eat warm.

5 comments:

  1. That looks lush. I've never heard of using grapes but it makes sense - roasted grape bread dipped in olive oil and vinegar would be delicious.

    It's probably worth saying how wet and sticky this dough is. Oiling the work surface makes it easier to work with as well as adding flavour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roast grapes are my new baked figs :)

      Delete
    2. Now that's fighting talk.

      And I think it's a fight that you'll lose.

      Delete
  2. This is cheeseboard bread, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is "I can't be arsed to cook dinner, lets just have bread and houmous instead, look it's got fruit in it and everything" bread, also amazing dipped in balsamic vinegar and.... MORE olive oil

      Delete

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