I decided a few days ago that I would give some home made bread another go. Having had varying degrees of success in the past when it comes to breads and rolls (I’ve blamed my oven, the limited choice in flour I had etc) but really, sometimes my guess-timates were a bit off and it has gone a bit pete tong!
But, whilst I still had access to my mother in laws kitchen (which I am madly in love with now) and 3/4 of a bag of my wholemeal seed and grain flour left over from the quiche, I thought “now is the time to try again”, so I did. I did a quick search online for a vegan foccacia recipe, Lorraine Pascale on bbc food came up trumps and I decided to fling some of my own inspiration into the mix and play about with the filling choices, we both love sun dried tomatoes and black olives and I would probably have flung in some halved cherry tomatoes but I didn’t have any to hand, so maybe next time!
Sun-dried Tomato, Olive & Rosemary Foccacia
500g/1lb 2oz wholewheat flour ( I used wholemeal seed & grain bread flour), plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
1 x 7g/⅛oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
50ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
150-260ml warm water
4 sun dried tomatoes (if using jarred, rinse the oil off and pat dry with kitchen roll)
8 pitted black olives sliced
1 tablespoon rosemary (you can use fresh which would be better, but I only had dried in)
Large pinch of black pepper
1. Dust a large flat baking tray with flour.
2. Put the flour into a large bowl, add the salt and yeast, then add the olive oil, plus enough warm water to make a soft but not sticky dough. The dough should feel quite loose and not tight and difficult to knead. If the whole amount is added it may appear that the dough is beyond repair, but gently kneading by way of scooping up the dough, scraping any sticky bits on the surface and slapping it back down again for a few minutes will see the dough begin to become ‘pillowy’ and more manageable. The more water that can be added (the full 250ml/9fl oz is great) then the lighter the bread will be. But it can take some perseverance. Also resist the temptation to add more flour as it will make the dough too heavy.
3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured work surface or for five minutes if using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. The dough will feel stretchy when pulled. To test if it is ready, make a ball with the dough then, using a well-floured finger, prod a shallow indent in the side (no more than ¾cm/¼in). If the indent disappears by way of the dough springing back then it is ready to shape. If the indent stays, knead for a few minutes longer.
4. Shape the dough into an oval and place it on the prepared baking tray. Flatten it out to about 30cm/12in long and 20cm/8in wide. Cover the dough loosely with oiled clingfilm, making sure it is airtight.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
6. Leave the dough in a warm place for about an hour, or until it has almost doubled in size. With a floured index finger or the end of a wooden spoon, press holes in the dough at regular intervals, pressing right down to the bottom. Pop in the pieces of chopped sundried tomatoes and olives into the holes. Sprinkle the rosemary and a little black pepper over the dough and place in the top third of the oven. Bake for about 25–30 minutes, or until the bread is well risen, pale golden-brown and feels hollow when tapped underneath.
7. Remove from the oven, leave to cool on the baking tray (or if you are like me get stuck in straight away with a pot of hummus!
This worked an absolute treat and we had it hot from the oven with a side of beetroot and carrot salad, rocket leaves and fresh tomatoes, topped with some organic hummus, just heaven!
For original Rosemary & Sea Salt Foccacia from Lorraine see here