Wednesday, 23 November 2011


A question was asked about focaccia after my picture at the end of the previous post. It's not a difficult bread to make at all and can be done by hand or bread machine or mixer.

If you are using a bread machine, please put ingredients into bowl in order your machine likes.  Very important, I've seen some spectacular failures through not being careful.

This recipe is easy to follow but there are plenty of others around and a quick search on Google will find  them easily.

Last important thing to know.  Like most cooking, success in bread depends on proportions.  The basic ingredients are flour, liquid, usually water, and yeast.  As a general rule, a starting point for flour/water proportions is 100/60.  Bear in mind however, that Australian flours, even just the usual purchase from the supermarket, are stronger or harder than flours from the northern hemisphere.  More liquid may be needed to get the dough right.  Be careful, start smaller and add more water slowly.  If dough is too sticky and you need to add more flour, too much will make a tough dough.  I find even the weather can make a difference too, especially if the humidity is extreme one way or the other.

Heat oven to around 200°  My oven runs quite hot since the fan element was replaced and the fan is fairly savage and can't be turned off, so I use 180°

So, into machine bowl in order for your machine, or into bowl if using a mixer or doing it by hand:

  • 500 gm plain flour or bread flour
  • 320 ml warm water
  • slosh good oil, 1-2 tablespoons
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 5 grams dried yeast
If using bread machine  set machine to dough setting and let it do the work.

If using mixer or by hand, blend all ingredients till dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl.

Knead for about 10 minutes.

Cover bowl with some oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise, around an hour.

All methods.  After dough is risen, turn it out and knead gently a few minutes on lightly floured bench or pastry board.  Place on baking paper on baking tray in shape desired and cover again with oiled plastic wrap. Leave to rise 20-30 minutes.

Remove wrap and poke fingers into dough to make indents all over. Brush dough with more oil letting some sit in the indents and sprinkle with sea salt and whatever else you like.  I've used olives this time and some could have gone into dough as  well if I had remembered.  Rosemary is particularly nice too. Bake 20-30 minutes checking after 20 minutes.  Crust should sound hollow but not be hard.

When ready, turn onto wire rack to cool.  I've cut the bread I mad yesterday into meal sized pieces and  frozen them in individual sandwich ziplock bags ready for lunches.



2paw said...

I didn't know that about our flour, that's very interesting. You make it sound so easy, but I usually end up making bricks!! I believe I said somewhere on my blog that next year I will conquer yeast!!!

Lynne said...

I have never been successful with yeast - either it doesn't rise or it tastes like yeast! Yuk!

I might wait for slightly cooler weather before I start baking!!