It is no secret, to those of you who have visited here before, that I love baking bread. Whether it’s a crusty loaf for sandwiches and toast, or Knotted Poppyseed Roll the flavour and quality of homemade bread wins every time I make it. Since I do not live near an artisan bakery, I now make pretty much all of our own bread, here at home. Today I have something very special to share my Toma Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread.
I honestly can’t begin to tell you just how yummy this bread is. It truly is proof that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread is taking bites of bread and then experiencing your taste buds explode with all the flavours, in your mouth.
This Focaccia is perfect with pasta (we had it with Lasagne, perfect for mopping up tomato and cheese sauce). I also think it would be great to take on a picnic, served with some good cheddar and a glass of something cold!
I made enough for 2 loaves, so just halve the recipe if only one Focaccia is needed – as the tomatoes won’t freeze well. Alternatively make two and leave the tomatoes off of the loaf you intend to freeze. Double wrap in cling film and the bread will last 3 months in the freezer!
We love any kind of bread with our meals, especially if it has garlic added. This hit the spot big time and Snugs, who can be a little but careful when it comes to ‘different foods’ loved this!! I guess you could even add some shards of sharp cheddar before baking? Might have to try that!!!!
Recipe : Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread makes 2
500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour
1 x 7g Sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast
1tsp Maldon Sea Salt (3/4tsp if using free flowing)
2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling – I use Filippo Berio
Approx 300-350ml lukewarm water.
16-20 Cherry Tomatoes – halved (half the amount for one Focaccia)
2tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves (half the amount for one Focaccia)
4 Cloves of Garlic (half the amount for one Focaccia)
Method : Using bread maker or stand mixer with dough hook attached.
Place 300ml of water into the bowl of your mixer.
Add the yeast and then the flour.
Add 2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Now add the salt.
Set the bread maker to the mix/prove cycle.
If the dough seems dry add extra water 20mls at a time until the dough has a smooth elasticity, while being mixed. If the dough is too dry either machine will be clunking!
With a stand mixer mix on medium speed until the dough is soft and elastic. Using Olive oil on your hands to stop the dough sticking, roll the dough into a tight ball, place back into the mixer bowl, cover with cling film and leave to double in size.
Using either method, once the first prove is finished, knock back, restarting the mixing on the bread machine and removing the cling and mix for a further 10 minutes.
Oil 2 x 20cmx20cm (8″ x 8″) square tins.
Cover and leave to double in size. While the bread is proving, preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan.
As soon as your dough is doubled in size place in the centre of a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Breathe deeply. Mmm, that smell coming out of the oven is your Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread. Enjoy, it smells amazing!
Allow the focaccia to cool so that it is just warm before serving. Cut into squares to serve.
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I almost always use a stand mixer and dough hook to knead any dough that I’m making. While I really love the feel of dough in my hands the combination of a bad back and now arthritis in my thumbs joints means it’s painful. Yet by using the mixer I can still make fresh bread for us as a family and I get to shape it by hand. Resulting in a happy me, as I can still bake bread and a happy family who really enjoy fresh, home baked bread.
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
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