Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My First Loaf of Bread

I baked bread for the first time ever today! *Beams proud mamma smile =D =D =D* Yes, I’m calling my first loaf my baby. A Focaccia bread with sun-dried tomatoes, olives and rosemary. It tasted fabulous fresh out of the oven, warm and dipped in olive oil. Freshest bread I’ve ever had. And knowing I made it myself makes it even more satisfying.

500g strong wholemeal bread flour
1 packet (7g) fast-action yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
320 ml warm water (warm not hot)
50g chopped sun-dried tomatoes, drained (remember to rehydrate them if you’re not using the ones soaked in oil)
50g chopped olives

1. Mix together flour, salt, rosemary, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add in water and olive oil, mixing well with a large spoon till everything’s combined to form a dough.
2. Tip dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for about 10 minutes. Shape dough into a ball, place in a large oiled bowl and cover dough loosely with an oiled plastic wrap sheet. Leave to prove in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, or until dough has doubled in size (Proving is just a fancy way of saying leave the yeast to react with the dough and rise). Be patient! Find ways to distract yourself while waiting. (Though I couldn’t help popping into the kitchen every 10 minutes or so to peek =P)
3. Punch the air out of the risen dough with your fist. Knead in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Shape the dough into a firm, flattish round (about 2 inches thick) and leave it to rise/prove for another 45 minutes on an oiled baking tray.
4. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan forced. Press holes all over the surface of the dough with your fingertips (but don’t poke all the way through). “Plant” sprigs of rosemary strategically in a few holes, sprinkle loaf with sea salt and drizzle with some olive oil. Bake about 25 minutes.

*Waits patiently for loaf to rise* (one of my many peeks into the kitchen, this was about after 45 minutes into the first proving)

Fresh out of the oven

My dinner, fresh focaccia bread with uhm, canned minestrone soup. As much as I'd love to I don't have the time to make everything!


kay said...

I haven't yet touch the bread area, congra to!

Tracy Tan said...

i've been wanting to try focacia but it is difficult to find fresh herbs. i shall use dried ones and try out your recipe. and i love sun dried tomatoes :)

~Bee Nee~ said...

kay: You should try it, I was a bit nervous at first but it's really not that hard, just different =P Kneading dough is actually quite fun. Hehe

Tracy: Yeah I know how hard it is to find fresh herbs back in Malaysia. Dried should work just fine =)And I love sun dried tomatoes too, they're great with pasta!