rosemary + sea salt focaccia

Hello September! Everything seems to be returning to normal round here. My brother’s gone back to school for his final year (that can’t be right! Stop growing up so fast!) and things are settling back into that cosy autumn routine. I have to say, I’m enjoying the build up to uni a lot more second time round! This time last year I was a bit of an anxious mess. All those scary unknowns concerning new friends and new places are now happily figured out and I’m going back feeling like I know what I’m doing, which is always nice!

If you’re starting uni in a few weeks’ time, best of luck! The best bits of advice I can give you are the clichés like ‘don’t stay in your room all the time’ and ‘just say yes‘. My freshers week went by in such a blur, but the events that I remember clearly (like salsa dancing, pub quizzes and silent discos) are the ones where we decided to go on the spur of the moment. You’ll meet all sorts of people, some of whom you’ll become best friends with and others you’ll never see again. And if it’s all a little overwhelming (which I definitely felt it was, at times), just remember that it’s not representative of the university experience and there’s still many more people to meet and experiences to have. My mates and I only really formed as a group of friends in early November… three weeks later and we’d signed on a house! Also, a pack of cards is a great icebreaker. For a few weeks one of my mates only knew me as ‘the girl with the cards in the bar’ 😉

On an unrelated note, I made proper bread for the first time this week! As with all new things, I was pretty apprehensive to start with…  but then I started nerding out about the yeast… Ooh look there’s some anaerobic respiration going on… And I know what your scientific name is! First year lectures are slowly coming back to me! Hell yes! {They’re Saccharomyces cerevisiae if you were wondering which you weren’t}

Anyway! This is rosemary and sea salt focaccia. I was really, really pleased with how it turned out and I’m determined to make more bread in the future. The smell of freshly-baked bread has got to be one of the best things ever!

Adapted very slightly from this recipe from BBC Good Food.

Ingredients:

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1 x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil {+ extra for greasing bowls and drizzling}
  • sea salt flakes
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves + a few small sprigs

Method:

Firstly, you’ve got to activate the yeast. Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and then add the contents of the sachet. Leave it for a few minutes to liven up (until it forms little bubbles).
Mix the flour and salt in a big bowl with your hands, then add the water/yeast mix and the 2 tbsp oil. Gather it all together and turn it out onto a floured surface, then knead for 5-10 minutes. 
Use a little olive oil to grease the sides of a big mixing bowl, then transfer the dough into it. Cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm to prove for about an hour.
Before and after the first prove.
Hopefully the dough has (roughly) doubled in size by now, so take it out of the bowl back onto a floured surface and knock it back {press it down with your knuckles to squash out some of the air}. Oil a baking tray and shape the dough into a rough rectangle so that it will fit into it. Transfer it into the tray, cover with cling film and leave to prove for another half hour.
Whilst the bread is proving for the second time, preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (fan-forced) and roughly chop up the rosemary leaves. When time’s up, press down into the dough with your finger to create the little focaccia dimples, then cover with the black pepper, salt flakes and rosemary leaves. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, letting it run into the holes and poke some of the little sprigs of rosemary into the dough. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. 
More attention-seeking antics…
Advertisements

One thought on “rosemary + sea salt focaccia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s