Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Garlic and Chili Focaccia



It's amazing that bread is made with the same four basic ingredients - yeast, flour, water and salt, but there are a hundred of ways of baking it. The results vary with different methods used and impress you every now and then!

This one was made with a batter that's impossible to knead as it is soupy, you actually pour the batter into the tin. The bread is surprisingly light and moist. The taste of the bread was great with just the flavor of extra virgin olive oil which I had used to grease the pan.  I usually prefer toasting my bread but this one baked in a cast iron pan, was perfect straight out of the pan!



This recipe for Rosemary Focaccia  is from Rose Levy Beranbaum's book, The Bread Bible. One notable thing about this recipe is the dough consistency and the way it is 'kneaded' using a stand mixer. Of course there are plenty of high hydration recipes for foccaccia and ciabattas, but they mostly involve the stretch and fold method and a longer rise. But this one is simply kneaded for 20 minutes in the stand mixer and it is amazing to see how the batter goes from soupy to melted mozzarella kind of stage! (will post the pictures and videos soon )I don't think you can work with this kind of dough as effortlessly and as efficiently without a sturdy hand mixer. I use a Kitchen Aid 5 quart one . If you have a stand mixer, do give this a try! 

If you are new to baking, try my online classes for beginners. For more details, click here!

Rosemary Foccacia (adapted from The Bread Bible by Rose Beranbaum)

 Maida 390 grams
Instant yeast 3/8 teaspoon
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons water / 442 grams , at room temperature
1.5 teaspoon salt ( the original recipe uses 3/4 teaspoon in the dough plus more as topping) 
3/4 tsp sugar
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (divided use)
Fresh rosemary 2 teaspoons
Sea salt - 1/4 teaspoon


Method
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer, using the paddle attachment on low speed, combine the flour and the yeast. 
  • With the mixer running, gradually add in the water, mix just until the dough comes together. It will be very soupy now.
  • Increase the speed to medium (#4 KitchenAid) and beat until the dough turns into a smooth, shiny ball , this may take about 20 minutes. (the stand mixer is sturdy enough to go on for this duration!) In fact, I was engrossed in writing something and forgot to turn off the mixer, so this step was more than 25 minutes for me.
  • Add the sugar and salt and beat until well incorporated, about 3 minutes.
  • Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into a well greased dough rising container. The dough now will look like melted mozzarella indeed as Rose says!
  • Cover and let rise for about 4 hours or at least until double. Mine took 1.5 hours to double. 
  • Grease a sheet pan ( ideally 12x17 inches) very generously with around 2 tablespoons of the oil. This is super super important or your bread will stick to the pan (like mine in the pic below) I used one 12x14 pan and another small cast iron pan.
  • Pour the dough into the sheet pan. Grease your hands well and spread the dough as thin as possible without tearing it. If the dough resists, let it relax for 10 minutes and spread it again. Try to maintain the bubbles in the dough as much as possible.
  • Cover the pan with a large box . Let the dough rise until it doubles, about 1-1.5 hours. 
  • Preheat the oven to 250C 1 hour before baking. 
  • Once it doubles, drizzle the remaining oil on the dough. Oil your fingers and dimple the dough deeply. Sprinkle the salt and rosemary (if using) on top. I used some garlic and chopped fresh red chilies.
  • Bake around 20 minutes or until the top is a deep golden color. The baking time may vary depending on your oven. Be careful not to burn the bread as it is spread thin and the oven is super hot.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle more olive oil on top and serve immediately! 

Enjoy the delicious, crisp bread with a moist and chewy crumb! The remaining bread in the cast iron pan (picture below) had an even more beautiful crust, it was amazing! 



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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Online class Announcement - Baking for Beginners.



Have you always wanted to learn baking but not sure where to start? Did your baking experiments from Googled recipes fail to deliver?
No worries, my online sessions are designed to help you discover the joy of baking right!

 I am planning to do these online sessions in July, the dates are not fixed yet. I will email you the details shortly.

Session 1 - Introduction to baking .
Ovens - an overview, your options.
Tins, tools and ingredients the beginners set
This session will help you shop for your basic set up.


Session 2 Deliciously Easy Recipes. 
Eggless Chocolate Cake
Eggless Chocolate Chip cookies
You will learn how to read a recipe, how to prepare for it and then bake. Learn how small details make a great deal of difference to your baking!

Takeaway
Your basic baking set up to help you start the right way and get fabulous results
A confident you ready to try more recipes
Recipes from session and all handy information in printable format via email
Plus - A surprise bonus recipe

I am running an online survey and participants of this survey will be able to enroll for these sessions at a discounted fee of Rs.500 only. You can find the form here.

https://forms.gle/6DpC5ju1DfpxP6QT8


Prior registration compulsory. Classes can't be split up for a pro-rated fee.


Looking forward to your response, thanks in advance for your time and help! Please also share this form link with friends who may be interested in baking.