Sunday, 31 August 2014

Cherry Tomato and Basil Focaccia

Having reached a certain point now, in my baking, I decided that I should invest in a stand mixer, and decided upon a KitchenAid device.  Having bought it I thought I would try a recipe from the KitchenAid website, and settled upon a savoury bake, Cherry Tomato and Basil Focaccia.

Happily it all turned out very well.  The recipe, shown below, makes enough for two loaves.  The bread freezes well, so it is quite possible to eat one, on the day of baking, and freeze the other.  I do recommend eating the loaf as soon as possible after baking, or freezing, as this bread will not stay fresh like supermarket loaves.

Here is a photo of my attempt, it turned out rather well, I think.




Serves: Makes 2 loaves
Preparation time: 15 minutes - Rise: 2 hours
Cooking time: 25 minutes
INGREDIENTS
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • 400 ml lukewarm water
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 800 g white bread flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 125 ml olive oil
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 24 red cherry tomatoes (or 12 red and 12 yellow cherry tomatoes)
  • extra virgin olive oil and sea salt flakes, to garnish


Preparation
  1. Crumble the yeast into a measuring jug and add the water. Stir in the sugar and leave for 10 minutes until the mixture starts to foam.
  2. Stir in the olive oil. Mix the flour and salt in the mixer bowl with the flat beater on speed 2 for 30 seconds. 
  3. Change to the dough hook and gradually knead in the yeast mixture until you obtain a soft dough. Knead for 2 minutes on speed 1.
  4.  Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until doubled in volume. 
  5. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and basil. 
  6. Knock back the dough and knead with the dough hook on speed 1, mixing in the sun-dried tomatoes and basil.
  7. Divide the dough into two portions and roll out each portion to a 1.5 cm thick circle. 
  8. Place on greased baking sheets and make 12 indentations in each dough circle with your fingertips. Push a cherry tomato into each indentation, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in volume. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. 
  10. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt flakes.
  11. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the focaccias are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base.

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