Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

Hello lovelies, I have been a baking bread. Not any ole squishy, white, sandwich loaf – oh no – Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread.

Delicious Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread.
Delicious Tomato 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.

Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread.
Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread.

 

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!

Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia.
Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia.

 

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 :

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.

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.

Tip the knocked back dough into one of the oiled pans.
Tip the knocked back dough into one of the oiled pans.
Place half the dough into each pan.
Place half the dough into each pan.
Using your fingers spread the Focaccia dough so it covers the base of the pan evenly. Drizzle a little Olive oil over.
Using your fingers spread the Focaccia dough so it covers the base of the pan evenly. Drizzle a little Olive oil over.
Add the cherry tomato halves.
Add the cherry tomato halves.
Sprinkle the thyme and garlic over the top and give your dough a final drizzle with Olive oil.
Sprinkle the thyme and garlic over the top and give your dough a final drizzle with Olive oil.

 

Cover and leave to double in size. Whilst proving preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan.

When your dough is doubled in size place in the 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!

 

Remove your Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread from the oven when it is golden all over.
Remove your Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread from the oven when it is golden all over.
Remove the Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread from the pan and cool on a rack, if not eating straight away!!
Remove the Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread from the pan and cool on a rack, if not eating straight away!!

 

I cut my Focaccia into squares, what do you do?

This recipe is so easy and the taste is amazing. Let me know if you make this bread? I love to read your comments.

You may also like Sundried Tomato Olive Focaccia Bread

The perfect food for feasting and sharing.

Sammie x

 

 

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Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake

Summer is well and truly here and with it an abundance of gorgeous summer fruit and vegetables. I’ve just joined a veg box scheme – which means I get a lovely box of fresh fruit and veg delivered to my door every Monday. First delivery is tomorrow, so I’m excited to see what recipes I can come up with! To get in the mood I decided to make a Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake!

Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake - with a tasty Garlic, Thyme and Lemon Sauce.
Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake – with a tasty Garlic, Thyme and Lemon Sauce.

 

This may sound odd, but generally as a family we don’t like dry meals. So a sauce or gravy is essential! For this Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake I made a delicious sauce using garlic, lemon, thyme and Olive oil. This was poured over the beautifully arranged veggies and WOW – even Snugs, our youngest daughter loved it!! Now she’s not exactly picky, especially compared to others the same age, however, let’s say her taste buds aren’t as accepting as the rest of our family. So for her to love this dish, well I knew I was onto a winner!

Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake - topped off with a generous grating of Parmesan.
Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake – topped off with a generous grating of Parmesan.

 

I used tomatoes, aubergines and green courgettes, but any squashes, potatoes, really any summer veg that you have an abundance of would work. Again the quantities I have given are for 4 adults, you could easily bulk this dish up with potatoes to make it go further, or even eat it as a main dish. The possibilities are endless!!

Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake - the thyme, garlic and lemon mix with the vegetable juices to create a sumptuous sauce.
Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake – the thyme, garlic and lemon mix with the vegetable juices to create a sumptuous sauce.

 

I’m excited to see what manner of unusual varieties of fruit and vegetables arrive in my veg box. I used to grow quite a few veggies with my lovely hubby’s help, one of the reasons being the ability to grow odd shaped squash or heirloom tomatoes. Most supermarkets only stock a scant supply of these during the summer months. Farmers Markets, however, are a treasure trove of different crops. I highly recommend, if you are able, to visit one. The experience itself is remarkable, with many stall holders happily sharing taste teasers of their wares. I’m waffling again……

Recipe : Serves 4 Adults as a Side

2 Medium Courgettes/Zucchini

2 Medium Aubergines/Egg Plant

6 Large Tomatoes

Juice of 2 Medium Lemons

Equal quantity of Olive oil (as lemons)

1 Clove Garlic – Crushed

Approx 1tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1tsp Sea Salt

50g/2oz Parmesan Cheese – finely grated

Method : Preheat the oven to 190C/175C fan

Firstly to make the sauce.

Place the lemon juice, oil, garlic, thyme, salt and a good grinding of pepper into a jug. Whisk until combined.

The sauce will emulsify - give a quick whisk again prior to pouring over the vegetables.
The sauce will emulsify – give a quick whisk again prior to pouring over the vegetables.

 

Next prepare all your vegetables by slicing them to the same thickness – approx 1cm/ 1/2″.

Arrange the round slices, on their side in the baking dish.
Arrange the round slices, on their side in the baking dish.
Continue packing the veggies tightly, they will shrink slightly on cooking.
Continue packing the veggies tightly, they will shrink slightly on cooking.
Pack the dish full. It looks soo pretty!
Pack the dish full. It looks soo pretty!
Pour the sauce evenly over the vegetables....
Pour the sauce evenly over the vegetables….
The lemon juice not only makes the sauce taste delicious, it also stops the aubergines from turning brown.
The lemon juice not only makes the sauce taste delicious, it also stops the aubergines from turning brown.

 

Now you can grate over the Parmesan.

Your Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake is now ready for the oven.
Your Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake is now ready for the oven.

 

Bake for 1 – 1 1/4 hours, until the vegetables are tender. Then remove from oven.

Mmm delicious - Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake.
Mmm delicious – Fresh Summer Vegetable Bake.

 

This light vegetable dish is perfect to accompany a Roast Chicken, baked fish – if the oven’s on let it do all the cooking!!!

I’d love to know if you are part of a veg box scheme, grow your own or enjoy Farmers Markets?

Sammie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

Hi, have I got the easiest, tastiest, make ahead side dish for you?? Oh yes I have! Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo – this dish does not disappoint – it is delicious.

Soooo delicious - Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo - the perfect Pasta side dish.
Soooo delicious – Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo – the perfect Pasta side dish.

 

Although I’ve said this is a side dish (& vegetarian), it also makes a fab light lunch. A few shavings of Parmesan would add extra oomph for lunch, served alongside some crusty, crunchy bread.

I’m getting hungry!!!!

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo - perfect served at room temp!
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo – perfect served at room temp!

I’ve used red onion, peas, sweetcorn and red bell pepper in this dish – but feel free to switch up the veggies (celery is good) with whatever you have on hand. All I would say is the Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo is best served at room temp, or even warmed – BUT NOT COLD!!! No matter how much lemon/oil you add, when served fridge cold the Orzo clumps together and not in a good way!!!! So there you go, an easy recipe that doesn’t take up any room in your fridge, or require any last minute fiddling. Yay!! We like easy!

Sooo easy, sooo delish - what's not to love - Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo
Sooo easy, sooo delish – what’s not to love – Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

 

Recipe : Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo serves 6-8 as a side dish.

500g/1lb Packet Dried Orzo

Juice of 1 Large Lemon

1 x Small Red Onion

150ml/5fl oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 x Garlic Cloves – crushed

200g/7oz Frozen Peas

Medium Can Sweetcorn

Fresh Basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method :

Put a large pan of water on to heat up for the Orzo.

Place the lemon juice and finely diced red onion into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix together. Leaving the onion in the lemon juice will remove the acrid taste!

Once the water in the pan is boiling add salt and then the Orzo. Cook according to the packet instructions – taking care not to overcook or the Orzo will simply clump together!!

Whilst the Orzo is cooking gently heat the Olive Oil and garlic together, for approx 2 minutes on a medium heat so the garlic infuses the oil and is lightly cooked. Pour the garlicky oil over the onions and lemon juice.

Lemon Garlic Onions and Oil - add salt and pepper.
Lemon Garlic Onions and Oil – add salt and pepper.

 

Drain the Orzo as soon as it is cooked and pour straight into the bowl. Using a large slotted spoon immediately toss the Orzo in the oil/lemon juice – this will stop the Orzo from sticking together.

Place the frozen peas (I used petit pois) in the bowl and mix in with the hot Orzo.

Add the sweetcorn (drained) and the diced, red, bell pepper. Mix together and taste for seasoning – add salt/freshly ground pepper as necessary.

Take a handful of Basil leaves, roughly chop and sprinkle over.

Cover with cling film and serve at room temp.

Voila!!! 10 minute side dish - Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo - delish xx
Voila!!! 10 minute side dish – Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo – delish xx

 

This side goes fabulously with fish – Salmon especially, Chicken and Pork. It makes a fab alternative to roast potatoes and hot veggies for a Summer roast and completely seals the deal as part of a buffet. With very little effort. Gotta love that?!

Enjoy feasting on this scrumptious dish and may we have many sunny days ahead to spend with friends and family, having fun round the BBQ!

With hidden ‘Super-Soakers’ primed for action if it gets too hot – or boring!!!!

What do you look forward to now the days are longer and the sunshine is out??

Sammie x

 

 

 

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