For a long time, I never understood why people bothered to make their own cupcakes, cakes or bread from scratch when all of it is so easily available at the local bakery or supermarket. I mean who has time to do all that?
But that was the old me. Fast forward a few years and I’m the one making cupcakes and rainbow birthday cakes from scratch and baking bread for dinner parties. The old me probably fainted on hearing what my future holds. 😉
I still lead a busy life, made busier with children and my job, but baking, cooking and renovation projects provide me the creative outlet that brings joy to my soul :).
So onto the recipe for home made bread!!
I’ve taken the focaccia recipe from the Everyday cooking…for every family cookbook from Thermomix. Now you don’t need a Thermomix, you can use your bread maker, a stand mixer, an electric hand mixer with dough hooks or simply the old fashioned way, your hands, to mix the dough.
400 grams lukewarm water
1 sachet dry yeast
20 grams of olive oil
500 grams plain flour*
1 teaspoon salt**
1 large clove of garlic
A few rosemary sprigs
Pitted Kalamata olives
* You can use bread flour, but I find plain flour works well enough and it’s significantly cheaper.
** I like using salt flakes. If you’re using table salt, I suggest reducing it to a 3/4 spoon as I find a full teaspoon of salt too salty.
Place water, yeast and oil into the Thermomix bowl and mix for 5 seconds on speed 6.
Add flour and salt and mix for 20 seconds on speed 6.
Set the dial to closed lid position and knead for 2 minutes on interval speed.
Remove the dough from the bowl. It’s a very sticky dough, so don’t panic if it’s a bit difficult to work with. That’s exactly how it should be.
See how sticky the dough is.
Put the dough in a large bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for up to 1 hour. I usually cover the bowl with some cling wrap to prevent the dough drying out.
After proofing (this means the time when the dough is left to rise), take the dough and place it on a floured baking tray. I line the tray with baking paper beforehand too. Shape the dough into the desired shape. I normally leave it pretty rustic and simply tuck it under and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
This is technically a focaccia recipe but I like to leave my dough in a cob shape. If you want it to look like a focaccia, you’ll need to shape it so the dough is fairly flat and press it down with your fingers all over to get the dimpling effect. But hey, you’re already making bread from scratch, your family and friends are not going to ask where the dimples are when they’re served freshly baked bread! They’ll be too busy oohing and aahing over your gastronomic offering :).
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees (or 200 degrees if you have a fan forced oven) for at least 20 minutes before you’re ready to start baking.
Top the bread with olives, rosemary and olive oil and bake in the middle rack of your oven for 20-30 minutes until golden.
If you leave your dough in pretty much the shape that I have (that is, if you haven’t flattened it) then it will rise quite a bit so I generally take the top rack out so the bread doesn’t hit that rack.
Check the bread after 20 minutes to see if it’s done. If you hear a hollow noise when you tap the base of the bread, it’s ready. 🙂
Immediately after the bread comes out of the oven, I quickly rub a cut garlic clove (cut side down) all over the top surface of the bread. I then drizzle more olive oil on top and add a sprinkle of salt flakes.
I don’t add garlic to the top of the dough before it goes in the oven as the garlic will burn.
Serve with a dipping bowl of extra virgin olive oil, extra salt flakes and balsamic vinegar.
I even had this a couple mornings after, sliced and toasted with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and avocado. Deliciousness on a plate. Yum!