Tuesday, 28 April 2015


It's been so long since I updated here hasn't it? Life has totally gotten in the way... well I say life, I really mean the PhD has gotten in the way, which seems to be life anyway so hey ho... I've been scootling around the UK to archives and conferences and all that kind of stuff and I also started teaching! That's right, they let me loose on the first years at the uni! It's been fun but pretty exhausting, I also have way more sympathy for my Professor's than I ever had before! But now term is ending and I finally have a few moments to myself so it felt like it was time to crack open the blog and share some recipes that have kept us going over these past few months. This is one of my favourite bread recipes to make, so easy, simple, quick and delicious.

We love bread in this house. We eat it every day, more than once a day. There is nothing better than a warm slice of bread fresh from the oven. I am quite simple in my tastes and quite enjoy it on it's own with a tiny bit of butter and a sprinkle of salt or just alongside a slice of Salami, oh and of course slathered in Nutella for breakfast, lunch afternoon snack. Mr Grad will eat it with pretty much anything, Salami, Cheese, Chilli, Artichokes, Tomatoes, you name it.

One of my favourite breads though is one that is purely savoury, Focaccia. I adore it! It's insanely delicious, all nice and fluffy and chewy with a delicious olive oil taste. It also makes the best sandwiches (amazing with Porchetta!) and is even incredibly tasty as a grilled cheese! 

I have a recipe for Focaccia that I've been making for at leat 6 years, I don't even remember where I got it from, I just know that I love making it, it's so easy and versatile! When I say easy, I mean EASY, no kneading, no fancy equipment or anything, just a bowl and a spatula and you get the fluffiest, tastiest bread you can imagine. You can also flavour it in almost anyway you want which is awesome, I love it with Rosemary or Sage.

So fluffy!!

Focaccia makes 8-10 slices

  • 530g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 2tsp Salt
  • 12g Yeast 
  • 410ml Warm Water
  • 3tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Combine the Flour and Salt in a large bowl (if using dried yeast add that in too).
  2. In a separate bowl/jug, whisk together then yeast, water and oil.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pout in the liquid.
  4. Use a large spatula to fold in the liquid, making sure that no pockets of flour remain.
  5. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and allow to rise for an hour or so until at least doubled in size.
  6. Lightly oil a 15"x10" tray and then scrape the dough out onto the pan. (you could use a 13x9 pan if you want a thicker bread).
  7. Press it down to fill the pan evenly (it's a good idea to oil your hands for this as the dough is very sticky).
  8. Cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size.
  9. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220c/200c Fan/Gas Mark 8
  10. Once risen, use your fingertips to make dimples all over the dough at 4cm intervals (again oiling up is a good idea!).
  11. Drizzle with 2tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with 1tsp Salt.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan half way through, until golden.

Rosemary Focaccia:

Add 3tbsp finely chopped fresh Rosemary to the flour and salt.

Focaccia Pizza:
Before cooking, gently spread over passata and sprinkle with oregano. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with 1 ball of mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes more.

Sage and Red Onion:
Finely slice one red onion and a 6 or 7 sage leaves. Sprinkle evenly over the dough before baking as usual.

Olive Focaccia:
Finely chop a handful of your favourite olives and add to the flour and salt. Once risen add a few halved olives on top for decoration and bake as usual. 

With Rosemary

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