We Knead to Bake! I joined this group last year and dropped out after a couple of months. Did I not enjoy baking bread? Actually, I did enjoy it very much. And I enjoyed baking with a group. There is so much inspiration and motivation that it becomes tough to resist. I dropped out because I knew I would be traveling, had guests at home and at the end of it all, I was so far out that it was tough to come back. I didn't want anyone in the group to think I was dragging my feet.
This year, I thought I could learn to manage my time better. And I definitely wanted to keep trying new breads. So, I signed up again. With encouragement from all of you and the group, I am certain I can keep up. Or at least I know I will try very hard.
This month's bread is the Focaccia Caprese, adapted from The Kitchen Whisperer. It only took me a few minutes to put this together and it was gone equally quickly. The only waiting was the time that the yeast took to get to work.
For the Dough:
2 tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/2 tbsp Sugar
3 1/2 cups Bread Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 1/2 cups Warm water
A little more olive oil for brushing the dough
For the Topping:
2 Tomatoes, sliced thin
1 6” round piece of Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, cut into1/4” slices
1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves, chiffonaded
For the Herbed Oil:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Basil
1/2 tsp Red Chilli flakes
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt to taste
In a bottle, add all the ingredients for the herbed oil and shake well.
Oil a baking tin. Heat the oven to 210C/410F.
In a bowl, add the sugar, salt, and olive oil and mix well. Add the warm water and mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the yeast and mix well. Add the bread flour and mix until everything comes together. Knead for a few minutes. The dough will be a bit sticky at this point. Make it into a ball and cover it with oil.
Cover with cling film or a damp cloth and allow it to rise. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Divide the dough into 4 parts.
Take one part and stretch it into the prepared baking tin by patting it down. Stretch the dough as it will tend to spring back. Allow it to rise for another 20 minutes.
Make a few depressions all over the dough with a well oiled finger and brush the entire surface with oil.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
Lightly drizzle some of the herbed oil over the bread and then evenly arrange some slices of mozzarella over the bread, leaving very little space between them. Arrange the tomato slices over this and a little sprinkle the chiffonaded basil over this. The topping should cover most of the surface of the bread.
Turn the heat of the oven up to 230C/450F. Drizzle more herbed oil over the bread and place it back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
Cut it into slices while still warm and enjoy it fresh out of the oven. This bread was gone in no time. Given how easy this recipe is, I know I will make it more often.