Thursday, August 16, 2012

Basil and cherry tomato focaccia

Yesterday was Indian Independence day. My son had to go to school for the flag hoisting, and then we watched the movie Gandhi that was showing on TV here.
That movie manages to inspire me, irrespective of the number of times I've watched it. At some points in life, Gandhi-ism, as a concept may seem a little irrelevant, with all the greed, ego clashes and violence that goes on all around the world. A person who worked selflessly for his nation is something we find hard to understand in today's generation, where each one believes that the world revolves around us.

My 6-year old had a lot of questions for me while watching the movie and I hope he manages to imbibe something from Gandhi's life and learn some of the selflessness and dedication of the many freedom fighters who fought for the India's independence.

Since its a National holiday, TH was also at home. I wanted to bake something and decided on this lovely focaccia I had seen on SJ's facebook page. She led me to this link on Sara's page. Thank you SJ and Sara, this turned out so good !

cherry tomato focaccia

I followed the recipe for the dough from Sara's page but changed the toppings a bit. I have this eternal problem of the crust never really browning enough. I am guessing its got something to do with the fact that I use the convection mode of my microwave to bake. Maybe an OTG will solve the problem. I've been postponing buying one only because I want to be really sure I will use it that much. But considering I bake at least once a week, I think I should go ahead.


I have narrowed down on the 40L OTG from Morphy Richards. I have read up many discussions on various fb groups and this seems like a good option. If you do own this one, do let me know how you like it or if you own any other brand that you think is good, please drop in your suggestions here. I'd love to have some options.


My son has never been fussy about food and now he has started enjoying watching food shows on TV. Masterchef Australia is one of his favourites. When I make something that looks a little fancy, he tells me 'Mamma, this is a Masterchef dish !' His friends' moms are always happy to have him over since he is full of praise for their food !
This one according to my little critic was a 'Masterchef dish'


This goes to Susan's Yeastspotting

I don't know how, but I seem to to have lost all the food pictures in the first 50 odd posts - all these were directly uploaded into blogger. Its a good chance to make these again and put up the pics, but if you know how I could possibly recover them, do let me know. I had the pics on a older laptop that crashed, so no saved copies either.

I made chow chow over the weekend and updated the post with that pic. Take a peek here

Basil and cherry tomato focaccia
Recipe source - Bake tales

What you need -

1 cup APF / maida
1 tsp instant yeast (I used gloripan)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 sliced onion
a few basil leaves
1/4 cup mozzarella
10-15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
sea salt
crushed pepper
2-3 tbsp olive oil

What you do with it -

In a large bowl, add the flour and mix in the salt and sugar
Make a well, pour in lukewarm water, olive oil and sprinkle yeast over the top
Bring it all together to form a ball of dough. It will be a little sticky, but that's fine
Knead using the base of your palm. Stretch the dough, roll it back, do a quarter turn and stretch it out again. As you work the dough, it will tighten up and become soft and springy
Knead for about 10 mins and then place in a greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place till it doubles in size. It should take about an hour. I left mine for close to two hours, because it was pretty cloudy here.
Punch down the dough to expel all the air bubbles. Place it on a dusted worktop and cover with the bowl for about 10 minutes.
Press the dough down and roll it using a rolling pin, into the shape of the pan you are using. I made a 9" x 9" square
Grease the pan, place the dough into it and stretch to fill up the pan around the corners. Cover and allow to rise for 10-15 mins and then dimple with dough with your fingertips
Place the sliced onions and the cherry tomatoes on the dough. Tear the basil leaves and sprinkle over this. Crush the sea salt and sprinkle over the dough, along with the ground pepper
Make pieces of the mozzarella and scatter over the toppings. Drizzle the olive oil over it
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C and then bake for 20-22 mins, till its done
Allow to cool for a few mins. Slice and serve hot.


Rajani said...

I did try a foccacia in my microwave convection (Panasonic) and it did brown - so dont get why your oven should not brown too! I mean if you have a convection already, why waste money or precious kitchen space in another oven? I tried with Anushruti's recipe (divine taste).
I loved your toppings, they look very festive!
Happy Independence Day to you too!

Unknown said...

Hey Happy Belated Independence Day!
When I was a kid we learned about Gandhiji and the movie only made it more inspiring:)I have not watched the movie in a long time, but remember most of the scenes!

I too use the convection mode, did u put the bread on the grill stand and bake?(I got it with the Microwave+oven) It does for the OTG I think you have the right choice. Even I am eyeing the same one :) If you do buy it do let me know the feedback!

Coming back to the post :P bread looks very inviting and delicious, want to slather some cheese spread and have it!

Unknown said...

lovely recipe and great clicks... makes me want to try this... first time to your blog had a good time, you have a great sense and eye for photography, happy to follow u.. do visit me

Suma said...

Thoughtful words Archana...

About the browning, I have had no probs with my microwave. Since the recipe has very little sugar, the browning may not be much. Try stepping up on the sugar a wee bit and use part milk for the liquid. The focaccia looks yumm, loved the topping. great pics too.. Sorry about the pics you lost..

Prathima Rao said...

Nice recipe...!! Using convection does have its probs..Takes longer to bake and yes does not brown much..So even i shifted to an OTG..I use only microwave now in the prev one..Do go in for an OTG...
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Gorgeous photos!

Spice up the Curry said...

this looks mouthwatering. nice one

virunthu unna vaanga said...


Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

the first thiing am gonna say is lovely pictures. so clear and colourful, really great work. love this focaccia recipe. my 6 yrs old OTG got busted and my hands are itching as I havent baked for close to a month now. The micro has convection but am not happy with the texture it produces. will try making this once I get my new oven, hopefully which will happen soon.

foodgalleri said...

Lovely recipe and awesome clicks..
My first visit to your space.. Glad to follow you :)

Helena / Rico sin Azúcar said...

Yum, I love focaccias! basil and tomato are a perfect match.
Beautiful shots, too ;-)

dassana said...

these are looking so yum... i need to make focaccia soon. also liked your gujarati kadhi post. whenever i make gujarati food, i do add some jaggery or sugar.. it has become a habit now.

Shri said...

Hi Archana, just chanced upon your blog. Loved the Kadhi picture.

Tadka Pasta said...

Your foccacia looks and sounds so good! Love the cute cherry tomato topping.

great-secret-of-life said...

looks so yummy... nice clicks


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