Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Focaccia Caprese

As I unwrap this amazing wonder from Laurel's kitchen, the aroma from yesterday's focaccia still hovers over my mind. The house was filled with the heavenly fragrance. Yeast was devouring its food and gluten was boasting its control. Read this article to find out how the aroma of fresh baked bread can make us kinder to strangers.

Bread means something more to me. As Vikrant parsai rightly said, "If you find bread and water in the desert, you are bound to find God somewhere too".  I can not agree more. 

And what a bread it was! So delicious, soft, flavorful and easy to make. I had it with tomato and spinach soup and it was a sumptuous meal. Then I had it again for breakfast today. I was very satisfied with the outcome of this bread. I have stumbled upon Focaccia Caprese quite a few times. Fellow bloggers post this bread often and I wanted to bake this bread for a long time now. If only, we would do what we wanted to do there and then. I know that day will come in my life. 

Focaccia is my favorite bread. I have posted different focaccias (Masala FocacciaGarlic and Rosemary Focaccia) before and all were delicious. I have baked them over and over again and they have never disappointed me. 

I will soon start taking deeper dives into the bread book and will bring a lot more wonderful breads to you. Till then, have fun with this focaccia caprese and let me know if it amazed you the way it amazed me. 

Focaccia Caprese
Recipe Adapted from: Aparna
Makes 2 Focaccias

For the dough:
1. 3 1/2 cup (450 g) bread flour (I used all purpose flour and it turned out just fine)
2. 2 tsp active dry yeast/instant yeast (you will have to proof the active dry yeast before mixing it)
3. 1 tsp salt
4. 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
5. 1/4 cup olive oil + some for greasing
6. 1 - 1 1/2 cup (240 - 360 ml ) warm water

For the topping:
1. 3 - 4 ripe large tomatoes - slice them
2. 15-16 pieces of fresh mozzarella (I didn't have mozzarella and used cottage cheese, worked well)
3. fresh basil leaves to sprinkle and garnish on top (I didn't have fresh basil so I increased the dry basil in the herb oil)

For the herb oil:
1. 1 tsp garlic paste
2. 1/4 cup olive oil
3. 1 tsp red chilly flakes
4. 1 tsp dry oregano
5. 1 1/2 tsp dry basil
6. salt to taste

Steps to prepare dough:
1. Proof the yeast first. Dissolve a pinch of sugar in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Now dissolve the yeast in it. Keep this mixture aside covered with a towel for 5-7 minutes.
2. Sieve the salt, sugar and flour together. Add olive oil and yeast to the flour. Now add water slowly and keep mixing the flour meanwhile. Amount of water you need will depend on the quality of flour, humidity etc.
Mix and knead the dough till the point it becomes soft, elastic and just short of being sticky. I needed about 1 1/4 cup of water.
3. Grease a bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl and let it proof for one hour.

Steps to prepare the herb oil:
1. Mix all the ingredients together and keep aside. 

Steps to make the bread:
1. Preheat the oven to 210 degree Celsius.
2. Take out the dough and divide in into two parts. Take a baking try and cover it foil. Grease the foil with olive oil. Now bring the dough pieces to rectangular shapes and to a thickness of about an inch. You can shape the dough with your hand to give the bread a rustic shape. Poke the dough with fingers on regular intervals to give it a classic dimpled effect. Let it rise for 20 minutes.
3. Brush the bread with herb oil. Bake it for about 15-20 minutes or till it turn golden brown.
4. Brush the bread with herb oil again. Place the cheese and tomatoes on the top. Drizzle the remaining herb oil on the top of the bread. Bake it again till the cheese starts melting or for about 5-7 minutes.
5. Serve hot.

  Have fun baking and eating :)

Submitted for YeastSpotting

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