Sunday, March 22, 2009

Feast with the yeast - Focaccia, twice in one week

After drooling over a whole lot of blogs where people baked with such ease and made awesome looking breads, I gathered up all my courage to try baking bread at home
I even had a 20 minute call with Miri, who is a dear friend and an inspiration for a lot of things in life, cooking being one...

She told me it was all about the yeast and that if I got that right, nothing could stop my bread from coming up beautifully !

I still dont possess a loaf tin - and decided I would buy one only if I baked something that was successful enough. Miri had this lovely focaccia on her blog, and I thought that would be a perfect beginning to my baking adventure.

It was a Sunday afternoon - perfect time for an experiment in the kitchen. I had the dry yeast (granules) and the first step was to see if the yeast was good enough. Said all my prayers and waited for about 10 minutes - the yeast got all bubbly and frothy - my prayers were answered !!

The final product - a slice of heaven in my plate

I know I am gushing a lot about this, but honestly, I never thought I'd be able to bake bread and this was a first try and successful, am so totally kicked about it, so bear with me...

I made it again, three daya later when I had friends over for dinner. This time I mixed the onions, garlic and spices in the dough and it tasted better than this one. It was all over before I thought of taking pics, but I did manage to take pics of the pasta salad and the strawberry yoghurt which was part of my menu that day...

This attempt is all thanks to Miri and also to Deeba, who is simply amazing with her baking and has the most drool worthy pics on her blog !!

Here's the recipe for my focaccia with fried onions and garlic(adapted from Deeba's)

What you need -

1 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsps soya flour
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil


1/2 cup basil leaves
2 onions
5 pods garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp crushed pepper

What you do with it -

In a bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water and proof yeast for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy
Stir in flour, wheat flour and soya flour, 1 tbsp olive oil and the salt, adding as much of the flour as necessary to form a soft and slightly sticky dough
Transfer to a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a muslin cloth and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour until double in size
Knead dough down and press with lightly-oiled hands into a well greased round pan, keeping it to the centre as much as possible
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Set rack in center of oven.
Chop the onions lengthwise
Chop the basil and garlic
In a small pan, heat a tbsp olive oil and fry the onions and garlic
Add the basil leaves, oregano, chilli flakes, crushed pepper and salt
Smear a bit of olive oil on top of the dough and sprinkle this fried onion mix on it

I cant get over how brilliantly the dough literally doubled...i was like this eager child, running every 5-10 mins to check whether its rising - and wow, rise it did !!

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden

It turned out really nice and golden and the onions tasted really nice, crunchy and spicy, which is how i love it...

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting
Serve warm or at room temperature

Sending this to Susan@WildYeast for her Yeastspotting


Trupti said...

Looks very to me. Thanks for sharing this recipe

Sophia Lee said...

wow. that looks incredible. I always have trouble baking with yeast though. the result always come out with a yeasty, sour taste. how do you fix that?

Anonymous said...

you are so amazing! i won't even try such did you ever find this latent talent.

Meenal Mehta said...

such yummy looking bread , love it:)

thanks for visiting my have a lovely one yourself

Ranjani said...

That looks completely professional!

SJ said...

I had hell lot problems with yeast. Then I brought a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water!!! Now its much better! have to try yours sometime!

are you a kannadiga?

SJ said...

I had a few konkani friends the only thing I learnt from them is-Tu kashi assa? If I ever settle in Ahmedabad I will hunt for u!

Usha said...

Focaccia looks perfect ! I completely empathize when I first baked bread, I was so excited too , there is nothing like baking your own bread :-)

Miri said...

Thanks for all the kind words Arch :) That is one beautiful bread you have baked - congrats! and I agree, there's nothing else which compares with the pride and joy of baking bread at home :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for your reply!
btw, I think you SHOULD invest in a loaf pan. you can use it for easy recipes like cakes and quick breads too!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first bread. It looks fantastic! Thanks for sending it to YeastSpotting.

Sara said...

It looks amazing, don't stop here, there are so many easy breads you can make at home. I love focaccia and it was one of the first breads I ever made, too.

amna said...

It does look really good. Great first attempt :)

vini said...

can i add oats flour instead of soya..



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