Tag Archives: baking at home

A veggie Focaccia


It seems that lately baking has became my favourite hobby. All my last posts are about baking: bread, savoury cakes, cookies and today Focaccia bread. I already talked about the focaccia here. This time I made the focaccia using my own sourdough starter and adding an extra bit: some courgettes and onions. But let’s start from the beginning. This Sunday, instead of baking my weekly bread, I decided to try something new. My parents, which on a daily basis experiment new recipes in the kitchen, suggested to try an “upside-down” focaccia. Why upside-down”?  Because you put the veggies of your choice in a baking tray and on the top the dough of the focaccia. In this way, the veggies won’t dry out but stay soft and cook thanks to their own steam. Ideally the upside down focaccia is a main course itself or if served in small a delicious appetizer.

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INGREDIENTS

250g Sourdough Starter

250g Strong Flour

125g Warm Water

1tbs of Sugar

1tbs of salt

2tbs of EVO

2 courgettes

1 onion in thin slices

HOW TO

Start mixing the Sourdough starter with the warm water adding some sugar, which will facilitate the raising process. Add the flour, the oil and just at the end the salt. Mix all the ingredients for 5/10 minutes. The dough should be quite sticky as very hydrated. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to raise for at least 5hrs.

In the main time (it actually take just 5 minutes not 5 hours) chop the courgettes and the onions or any other veggies you decided to use. Season with some salt and peeper adding also some EVO.

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After 5 hrs, take the dough, which should have became twice as big,  out of the bowl and fold it using the same technique used for the bread. Cover the baking tray with some baking paper and dispose the courgette&onion mix on the tray. They should form an uniform layer.  Put the dough on the top of the veggies and pushing down the dough until it covers all the tray. Leave it to rest for 1 hr. In the main time pre-heat the oven at 220°C. After the last part of the raising process cook at 200°C for 25/30 minute or until the top has a brown golden colour.

After taking the focaccia out of the oven, overturn it so the veggie part stays at the top. If needed pass the focaccia under the grill for  a couple of minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy this upside-down veggie focaccia warm. It won’t make it the end of the meal.

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Homemade bread

Making bread at home is one of these thing I really enjoy doing: it’s fun, it is healthy and first of all the homemade bread taste far better of any supermarket one (if you chose the right recipe and/or technique, though). You might think that bread it’s just flour, water and yeast. However it’s much more than this: several are the variables which influence the final result. First of all the flour: it must be a strong one, meaning with an high content of gluten. You can choose a white one or a combination of wholemeal and strong white flour. Yeast: I used a really small amount of dry yeast. Some use a fresh homemade yeast (a whole school on this), which give that extra kick to the dough. Last but not least the time and conditions of the rising process. I start making the dough (see details below) on Saturday afternoon, left to rise for 10/12hrs, then after kneading the dough again, left to rise for further 2 hours.

My main source of inspiration was  this blog; although in Italian, is very clear and easy to follow thanks to the video.

INGREDIENTS:

200g strong white flour

180g wholemeal flour

225 -250g of water (room temperature)

1g of dried yeast

6g of salt

HOW TO:

In a bowl start with mixing the two flours, add the salt. Dissolve the yeast in water at room temperature, add into the flour and start mixing. Gradually add the rest of the water to the mix and keep kneading the the dough, which will be wet and sticky, but it’s ok! Actually it’s a good sign. Leave the dough to rise in the bowl inside the oven with the light on. Add in the oven a small container with water in order to increase the level of humidity for a better result in the rising process.

After 12/14 hours gently remove the dough  from the bowl, sprinkle a surface with some flour and fold the dough a couple of times onto itself, put the dough on a baking tray, cover it and leave to rise for a further 1 or 2 hrs.

In the main time switch the oven on at 230 degrees. Put a small container with water to create some steam which will improve the quality of the bread. Leave to cook for 30-35 minutes.

This time the results have been satisfactory, however it is difficult with the bread to obtain identical results every time. A small difference in temperature during the rising process, for instance, might affect the final result. But in this occasion I was happy with my homemade bread!

Blogs where I took my inspiration from this time:

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