Make focaccia bread at home with this easy Bread Ahead recipe

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So far this week, we’ve shared cooking videos on how to make donuts, cinnamon rolls, grissini sticks and bagels.

Now is the time for the final Bread Ahead recipe and, rightly so, it’s for the bread – or more specifically, the focaccia.

The baked Italian dish is a great treat when you settle into another self-isolation weekend (if you can even tell the difference between weekdays and weekends now).

Bakers, put on your aprons. It’s time to make bread.

Recipe

A slice of homemade herb focaccia bread with a Bread Ahead recipe
The perfect Friday treat (Image: Getty)
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 6g fresh yeast (or 3g instant / quick / quick-acting dry yeast) 400g cold water
  • 80g olive oil (for folding and coating)
  • Sea salt flakes, rosemary or your favorite garnishes
  • Give bread

Instructions

Bread Ahead explains: “Place the flour and salt in a bowl and mix. In another bowl, add the yeast to the water, then mix until dissolved (if using instant / quick / quick-acting dry yeast, mix the yeast through the dry mixture instead). Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the liquid. Gather the mixture to form a loose dough.

“Tilt the dough on your work surface, making sure to scrape off all the dough to leave a clean bowl.

“With the heel of your hand, push the dough into the table and stretch it for five minutes, making sure to scrape your dough in the center throughout the mixture. Pour 3⁄4 of the oil into the bottom of your bowl and return the dough to the bowl.

“Spread the oil from the bowl on top of the dough, then fold your dough. To do this, place your hands under one side of the dough, pull it up and stretch on the other side.

“Do this from the bottom, the top and each of the two sides (this is considered as a single fold). This will help merge the oil with the dough. Let stand for half an hour.

“Give your dough three more folds to rest for 30 minutes each time. After the last fold, put in the refrigerator and let stand 10 minutes.

“Preheat your oven to 220 ° C / fan 230 ° C / gas brand 7 or as hot as your oven will go.

“Slowly slide your dough onto a lightly oiled tray, fold it in half (like a giant Cornish dough) and massage the rest of the oil onto the surface of the dough making sure it is evenly covered.

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“Press your fingers on top of the dough to spread it out on the tray. Make sure to press on the entire surface (this will give your focaccia its dimpled appearance). Garnish with your desired garnishes and leave your dough for 30 minutes.

“If you wish, you can now keep your focaccia in the fridge for up to six hours.

“Sprinkle with salt, then place your tray in the oven and lightly sprinkle the oven chamber with a spray of water.

“Bake for 15 minutes. Take out, coat with olive oil, cool and serve. “

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