Recipe: Nothing like the aroma of freshly baked bread
BREAD is a beautiful thing, but have you ever tried making it at home? The smell of freshly baked bread is out of this world.
You may think it's hard to create but it really isn't and the sense of achievement you get from creating it is the best, it just takes a little time.
We encourage you to try this focaccia recipe this week, share it with the family - even get the kids helping.
Makes 1 large focaccia
730g of plain flour
3 tsp of salt flakes and extra for sprinkling on top
½ tsp of caster sugar
500ml of luke warm water
9g of dried yeast
50ml of olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl, pan, and drizzling
Fresh or dried rosemary for sprinkling.
METHOD: Grease a large rectangle baking dish or slice pan 22x36cm with a generous amount of olive oil. Grab a large bowl and coat it with olive oil also. Combine the sugar and 250ml of the warm water in a large jug and then sprinkle over the yeast. Be careful that your water isn't too hot otherwise it will kill the yeast. Set this aside for 5-6 minutes. It will become foamy.
Add the remaining 250ml of warm water to the yeast, then the olive oil and give it a stir with a fork.
In a bowl add the flour and salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast water slowly, a third at a time. Stir with a wooden spoon, slowly and gradually add the remaining water stirring until the mixture becomes too stiff to stir. Now use your hands but lightly dust with flour first. Bring the mixture together with your hands, the mixture should remain quite soft.
Turn on to a lightly floured bench and knead for 8 minutes. It will become elastic and smooth. Form into a large ball. Place in the oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside in a warm draught-free area for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 220C. Punch the ball of dough in the bowl once to release the air. Now transfer this to your oiled tray and use your hands to press the dough out to the sides and corners.
Use your fingertips to make deep dimples all over the surface. Sprinkle over freshly chopped rosemary, a good sprinkle of salt flakes and another generous sprinkle of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until it is a deep golden colour. Turn on to a wire rack immediately to cool. Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip or good salted butter.
Dan and Steph Mulheron won My Kitchen Rules in 2013. Visit http://www.danandsteph.com.au or find them on Facebook.