Friday, November 18, 2011

First Attempt At Focaccia

I've always wanted to try my hand at making bread but the thought of using yeast was always rather daunting. I mean, instructions were always telling me to leave the bowl of dough in a dark and damp place for the dough to rise and the only dark and damp place I have in the kitchen is under the sink.

Which sounds like a cockroach's favourite place to hang out. *shudder*

Anyway, I decided that making focaccia was a fairly simple recipe that surely I could follow.

I must confess that I adapted my own recipe from this one, using whatever ingredients I have at home. =D

Focaccia Ingredients:
2 - 2 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp instant active yeast
1 tsp mixed herbs
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp coarse black pepper

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
sprigs of rosemary

1. In bowl, stir together the first 7 ingredients (use 2 cups of flour first). Mix in vegetable oil and water. Add 2 tbsp of flour as you go along, to get a less sticky dough.

2. Knead dough on lightly floured surface, until smooth and elastic.
3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough ball in the bowl and turn it to coat with oil. Cover with cling film, let it rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. It should double in size.

4. Preheat oven to 230 C. Punch dough down and place it on greased baking sheet on baking tray.

5. Pat it into half an inch thick rectangle. Cover with damp tea towel for about 5minutes.
6. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and parmesan cheese.
7. Bake for 15minutes, or until golden brown.

Well, I was looking at the recipe on BBC Food and it told me to insert rosemary into the dough. =P My poor focaccia, although not very yummy looking, was fondly named the 'giant tick' on Facebook - turned out pretty tasty.

I honestly thought I would be a genius for coming up with pumpkin pesto, but I think it turned out to be some sort of chunky pumpkin spread.

Chunky Pumpkin Spread

1 - 1 1/2 cup of mashed pumpkin (steamed)
1/2 cup olive oil (eventually I added another 1/2)
1/3 cup pine nuts (roasted over low fire)
1/3 Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)

Mix them well in a blender. Though I would suggest blending the garlic and pine nuts first, before adding everything together.

Our dinner that night.
It was pretty filling, I must say.

I brought 1/3 of the bread to work the next day and my colleagues loved it, and requested for more.

The same week, I baked it again for my parents to try and they said it was not too bad. My sister's in-laws thoroughly enjoyed it too.

This one turned out to be lighter as the dough rose beautifully. I used all purpose flour instead of bread flour and cling wrap instead of a damp towel (as suggested by the recipe) while letting the dough rise in the bowl.

But it wasn't as aromatic as the first one!


I seem to be having trouble looking for bread flour, you know. Do let me know if you see it somewhere!


  1. looks lovely!!! Hope to be stopping by in KL for a while next year and get to try some of your home baked goodies.