Focaccia. Cold Evenings. More Excuses.

focaccia

OK, so all I managed to post in November were some food gadget related photos.That is really not too impressive for a food blog, is it now?

Let me tell you what else I did in November: worked too many hours in the office; managed a short trip to the UK; paid a hugely expensive energy bill; went out for dinner and a concert on Mark’s birthday; got burgled; went to Cologne and had way too much mulled wine.

Now, here we are and it’s December! Sorry 🙂

Which means in no particular order: a lot of home made pasta (part of Mark’s birthday present); sourcing cheap fire wood; a fabulous Champagne tasting evening; dry cleaning my winter coat; buying Christmas cards; ordering a goose; preparing for the first (ever!) Christmas in Brussels.

Yes, everyone is coming over to Brussels at Christmas time.

In between all this you can understand we didn’t have much time to breathe, let alone blog. I did follow though your wonderful posts, recipes, cookie count downs, Christmas preparations, winter/ summer inspirations, all a wonderful break from this very hectic end of the year. And we also made focaccia. There is that very comforting combination of life spinning out of control and the hot, caressing smell of fresh bread. I simply love the smell of fresh bread. If I could, I would spend my mornings in a bakery simply breathing in. And out.

Focaccia. Probably like many, I too discovered focaccia somewhere Italian. Either Italy itself or in an Italian restaurant. I forget which was first. Needless to say I love it ever since. I like the fact it’s flat. And light. And crusty. And I adore the air bubbles inside. I know, I know. That means a little less focaccia and more … air. But I simply love it.

Recreating this wonderful bread at home is easy, and so rewarding you simply have to give it a try. You will only need your basic, fool proof dough recipe – we usually go for the tried and tested – and then what worked really well for us? Leave the dough to rise till the next day. In our case it was more a matter of no time (!) and honestly, we forgot the dough. (Please tell me this happens to you as well. Sometimes?). Which meant that the next day we had the fluffiest, lightest dough ever.

Nest step: knock the air out of the dough. Then line a flat, thin baking tray with baking paper. And stretch the life out of your dough so that it covers the whole tray. Use all your fingers to make little dimples into the dough, brush some olive oil on top, sprinkle some sea salt and in it goes. I tend to add the rosemary half way through the cooking time (15min or so in, 200C/gas 6) then return the focaccia to the oven.

The result? Beautiful springy foccaccia which in our house hold lasts all of two days. Tops!

What is your focaccia secret?

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