Spiced Fruit Loaf

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Hi, I have a double treat for you today. This absolutely delicious Spiced Fruit Loaf not only tastes amazing, but, the aroma, gently wafting from the oven, makes the whole house smell incredible. Cinnamon and bread filled with tasty dried fruit, baking together.

Who needs air freshener when you can bake this wonderful Spiced Fruit Loaf,

 

Spiced Fruit Loaf

If you have never baked bread before, bake this!

This Spiced Fruit Loaf is stuffed full of dried fruits. Don’t hide raisin haters! Although there are some dried vine fruits in this loaf (which you can absolutely leave out), there’s also dried cranberries and figs. Soft, golden, dried apricots would be a fantastic addition as well.

Spiced Fruit Loaf

The bread dough is enriched with egg, milk and butter and spiced with cinnamon and ginger. And as if bread baking didn’t smell good enough, this Spiced Fruit Loaf kicks it into another dimension.

A Great Breakfast Bread Loaf

My absolute favourite way to enjoy this bread is toasted, for breakfast. As my nose is assaulted with another spice hit as the bread toasts.

Perfect with a cup of good coffee.

Breakfast with back coffee and toasted fruit bread.
Spiced Fruit Loaf

I have been reviewing some baking products from British Bakeware, including their 3lb loaf pan. Having baked a range of breads I wanted to create something that really did the pan justice.

This Spiced Fruit Loaf does!

Spiced Fruit Loaf sliced and toasted with butter.
Spiced Fruit Loaf

One thick slice of this bread kept me full all morning – and it contains fruit, so it must be good for you. Right?

Everyone in our house was eager to try this tasty breakfast loaf this morning and they were not disappointed. As a mum I’m happier, during these chilly winter months, when they all have a hot breakfast. And I honestly do believe it is the most important meal of the day. So why not make it a tasty one?

Recipe: Makes 1 Spiced Fruit Loaf

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

1 Large Free Range Egg

Approx 320ml/ just over 1/2 pint Whole Milk at room temperature

1tsp Honey

1 Sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast (7g)

1tsp/7g Salt – I use Maldon

75g/3oz Unsalted Butter plus extra for greasing the loaf pan

2tsp Cinnamon

1tsp Ginger

225g/8oz Dried Fruit – I used equal quantities of vine fruits, chopped dried figs and dried cranberries

You will need a 3lb loaf pan.

Making And Proving The Dough

  • Crack the egg into a jug. Make up to 340mls/12fl oz with milk. Using a fork, lightly beat together to break up the egg.
  • Pour this liquid into the bowl of a bread maker or stand mixer.
  • Add the honey and yeast.
  • Next add the flour.
  • Add the salt to the top of the flour and add the cubed butter.

If using a bread maker start the dough cycle, adding the spices and dried fruit when prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before the mixing finishes.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook. Mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are combined into a dough. Continue mixing for a further 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the dough from the hook, back down into the bowl. Add the spices and dried fruit and continue to mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes. Stop the mixing and scrape all the dough from the hook. Form into a ball, place back into the mixer bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – approximately 1 hour.

Butter the loaf pan and set aside.

Knocking Back And Shaping The Dough

When the bread mixer has finished its dough cycle, restart again and allow the machine to mix (knock back) the dough for 2 minutes.

As soon as the dough in the stand mixer bowl has doubled in size, remove the cloth and mix, with the dough hook attached, on medium speed for 2 minutes. Again this knocks back the dough.

  • Turn your knocked back dough out onto a floured surface. It will be very sticky.
  • Press the dough to form a roughly rectangular shape.
  • Fold the bottom third of the dough up and then bring the top third down.
  • Turn the dough over, so that the seam is underneath. Form the dough into a log shape and place into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Finally, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx 1 hour.

10 minutes before the loaf is ready to be baked preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan  oven, gas mark 7, 425F.

Unbaked spiced fruit bread loaf.
Spiced Fruit Loaf

Baking The Spiced Fruit Bread Loaf

  • As soon as the dough is doubled in size, remove the cloth and bake in the centre of a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • The loaf is baked when it has a dark, golden crust and sounds hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.
  • When baked, remove the bread from the oven.
  • Turn the loaf out of the pan and place on a cooling rack.
Bread filled with dried cranberries, figs and sultanas and flavoured with cinnamon and ginger.
Spiced Fruit Loaf

Leave to cool completely.

I know you want to tear into this Spiced Fruit Loaf the moment it comes out of the oven, but you shouldn’t. The butter and fruit in this loaf make it particularly squidgy whilst warm.

Trust me! As soon as this beauty is cool it will slice beautifully.

Enjoy as is, smothered in butter, or toasted and buttered.

If you enjoyed this recipe for Spiced Fruit Loaf then you may also like these:

English Muffins

English Muffins

Homemade Chelsea Buns

Homemade Chelsea buns with a lemon icing drizzle.
Homemade Chelsea Buns

Farmhouse White Loaf

Farmhouse style white bread loaf.
Farmhouse White Loaf

I absolutely love the smell and taste of hot cross buns around Easter and if you feel the same I know you too will enjoy this spiced and fruited bread. And a huge advantage to making bread at home is you can add whatever dried fruits you like. For example, I am allergic to oranges, yes it is annoying, but it means I can make Hot Cross Buns at home and leave the offensive ingredient out! Because that’s the beauty of baking at home, you chose what goes into your bakes.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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English Muffins

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So today I have one of my greatest accomplishments to share with you. Welcome to my delicious, homemade, English Muffins.

English muffins
English Muffins

Honestly speaking, I am not really sure why I have hesitated so long before making these, all I can say is that I wish I hadn’t. Since these homemade English Muffins are a world away from their shop bought counterparts.

While I have eaten plenty of supermarket muffins in the past, I have always found them a bit heavy and dense and although they’ve been eaten and enjoyed I honestly couldn’t go back now, homemade is the way to go!

Homemade English Muffins
English Muffins

They say that Breakfast is THE most important meal of the day, a couple of these English Muffins will certainly keep you going until lunchtime.

Although we very rarely have tea as a meal anymore, these would be absolutely perfect. A plate piled high with warm, homemade English Muffins, butter, pots of jam, sliced bananas and a large glasses of milk. A scene straight out of an Enid Blyton book!

Freshly made English Muffins.
English Muffins.

I honestly cannot encourage you enough to make these English Muffins. The reward for effort put in is ridiculously good. These don’t require baking either. Just an iron skillet/griddle, if you own one, otherwise a heavy based frying pan will be fine.

A couple of tips:

The dough is quite sticky, but not unmanageable, as long as you dust your working surface well, with flour and polenta (cornmeal) and keep the dough moving whilst rolling out.

No fat needs to be added to the griddle. Simply follow the method and your English Muffins will be fantastic!

Recipe : Makes 12-14 English Muffins

350g/12oz Plain White Flour plus extra for dusting  – I use Shipton Mill 

7g/1 sachet Active Dried Yeast

1/2tsp Honey – the runny kind

7g Salt – I use Maldon 

1 Large Free Range Egg

200ml/7 fl oz Milk – whole or semi skimmed

7g/ 1/4oz Unsalted Butter

2-3 Tbsp Cornmeal/Polenta for dusting

Method :

Making The Muffin Dough

Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment or a bread maker,

Lightly whisk the egg into the milk. Pour into the bowl of your chosen machine.

Add the yeast and honey. Mix using clean fingers.

Then add the flour on top of the liquid.

Add the salt and butter.

If using a bread maker set the machine to dough cycle. Press start.

If using a stand mixer, mix on a low speed until all the ingredients have combined, then continue mixing for 5 minutes on a medium speed. Stop the machine, remove any dough from the dough hook and place back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave until the dough has doubled in size – approx. 1 hour.

When the dough cycle has finished, re-start your bread maker on the dough cycle and allow to mix for 2 minutes.

With a stand mixer, remove the cloth, mix with the dough hook for 2 minutes.

While the dough is proving dust 2 baking sheets with a 50/50 mix of flour and cornmeal (polenta is the same thing!).

Prepare the baking sheets by sprinkling with flour and polenta.
Prepare the baking sheets by sprinkling with flour and polenta.

 

Cutting Out The English Muffins

First of all, prepare the work top by dusting with the same flour/cornmeal mixture. Keep some to the side to use whilst working/rolling the dough.

Place the dough onto the prepared worktop
Place the dough onto the prepared worktop.
Roll out the dough, moving it regularly so it doesn't stick, until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
Roll out the dough, moving it regularly so it doesn’t stick, until it is about 1/2 inch thick.

Use a 2.5in (6 and 3/4cm) diameter, plain round cutter to cut the muffin dough.

Place the cutout discs onto the prepared baking sheets.
Place the cutout discs onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bring together the remnants of dough, left from cutting out the discs, knead back together and re-roll. Cut out the muffins as before.

Cover the baking sheets with a dry tea towel and leave the dough to rise, until doubled in size.

After 30-45 minutes proving the dough will have risen and have rounded edges.
After 30-45 minutes proving the dough will have risen and have rounded edges.

Cooking The Muffins

Preheat your griddle/heavy based pan on the hob, over a medium heat.

Place the discs onto a preheated skillet/griddle.
Place the discs onto a preheated skillet/griddle.
English Muffins cook for 5 minutes and then flip over.
English Muffins cook for 5 minutes and then flip over.

The English Muffins rise in the pan, as the cook before your very eyes. Our children were captivated! Either use a palette knife or fish slice to flip the muffins over.

They are cooked when they are well risen and set (you can pick one up and the sides hold their shape), both top and bottom should be golden brown and they will sound hollow when rapped with you knuckle.

Remove from the griddle.

English Muffins

Place the cooked English Muffins on a cooling rack.

These first 4 English Muffins were cooled for 5 minutes and then eaten straight away. Unbelieveably good.

Continue to cook the remaining muffins in the same way.

 

English muffins freshly baked on a wooden board.

 

Tasty Homemade Food

Finally and most importantly, these muffins lasted 5 minutes after I’d photographed them and then they were snaffled away to be eaten! Now that is definitely a sign of a great recipe.

Also, if you’ve never baked bread or cooked with yeast before, these English Muffins are the perfect starting point. No worrying if it is too early to open the oven door and take a peek, the cooking happens right before your very eyes. And if you are unsure if they are cooked through, remove one, cut through with a bread knife and check. What could be easier and more tasty?

And I can guarantee massive smiles all round when you serve up a big plate of these warm, delicious, English Muffins.

The muffins will keep for a couple of days in a bread bin and are delicious, split and toasted. Also, they be placed in a freezer bag, once absolutely cold and kept in the freezer for a month.

The gorgeous board that I’ve displayed the English Muffins on is from House of Frazer, that I picked up in the sale!

Have you put off making something, presuming it will be really hard, only to be surprised when you’ve taken the plunge and made it??

If you enjoyed making these English Muffins recipe you may also want to try other easy bread recipes:

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

Knotted poppyseed rolls.
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

Large White Bloomer

Large White Bloomer loaf
Large White Bloomer

Farmhouse White Loaf

Farmhouse style white bread loaf.
Farmhouse White Loaf

Please let me know if you make these, I love hearing from you?

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Oat Bran White Bread

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For those of you who regularly read this blog, you may have noticed a few things about the way I cook and bake. Primarily I make food that is tasty to eat using ‘natural’ ingredients. For example, I unashamedly use butter when baking and cooking and tend to avoid overly processed foods. While I have a passion for baking bread, with nuttier and seeded loaves being my preferred loaves, yet I live in the real world. In a family of five people, three prefer white bread. So here is my compromise. Oat Bran White Bread is a soft loaf without the heaviness or chewing required by its wholemeal cousin.

FF Oat Bran White Bread

Since this bread is so soft it is perfect for sandwiches and also makes the most incredible toast. In fact, this loaf makes the best toast, in my opinion, of all the bread recipes here on Feasting is Fun. Packed full of fibre from the whole oats and oat bran, it is good for you as well as being a tasty, filling bread. Yet also having the lightness of a white loaf.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread Loaf

Choosing To Eat Well

While I am not into faddy food, having food allergies myself means I am attempting to increase the variety recipes on this site. For example gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian. I try to use fresh local and seasonal food as much as possible in my everyday cooking and that is reflected in the recipes posted here. I am not perfect and we have standby dinners in the freezer for days when I can’t cook.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread

All that said, I do try to make as much of our own bread as possible. If I didn’t have a bread machine or stand mixer I simply would be unable to make bread from scratch. Kitchen machinery that earns its place will always be welcomed by me. Far better to make good quality, homemade bread with the help of a mixer, than buy its mass produced counterpart. Bread is a staple and a great tasting, fresh loaf will always be at the heart of any kitchen that I use.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread

A quick note about this Oat Bran White Bread: I have recently updated the recipe, replacing the butter for Rapeseed oil. First of all it gives the baked loaf a softer texture and also makes the recipe both dairy free and vegan. I am NOT jumping on the ‘vegan’ bandwagon, however, creating a loaf that more people can make and enjoy will always be a priority for me, providing there is no compromise on flavour.

Recipe:  Oat Bran White Bread

420ml Water at room temperature

450g/1lb Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

100g/4oz Fine Oat Bran available from health food shops and Amazon 

– alternatively blitz the equivalent weight of rolled oats in a food processor

50g/2oz Rolled Oats

7g /1sachet Active Dried Yeast – I use the green tub/sachets from Allinson

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil (Canola Oil)

Making And Proving The Bread Dough

You will need a lightly oiled 3 lb loaf pan to bake this loaf of bread.

Using a bread maker or stand mixer, pour the water into the  bowl and then add the yeast.

Next add the flour, oat bran and oats.

On top of the dry ingredients add the salt and oil.

Set the bread machine to dough cycle and start.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix until all the ingredients come together. Continue to mix for 10 minutes. Stop mixing and remove the dough hook. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth until the dough has doubled in size, approx 1 hour.

Knocking Back And Shaping The Dough Ready For The Second Prove

Once doubled in size, remove the cloth and tip the dough out on to a lightly floured worktop so that the top of the risen dough is in on the bottom, in contact with the work surface.

Once the bread mixer has finished the dough cycle, start it again, allowing it to mix (knock back) the dough for one minute. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Working around the dough, take hold of the dough with your hand, pull out and then press into the centre. Continue, as in the photographs below, until you have a tight, neat lump of dough.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Creating structure within the dough.

Gently, using your fingers, press the dough out to form a square shape.

Fold the bottom third of the dough up and then the top third of the dough is folded down, slighlty overlapping the seam.

Turn the dough over and place into a well greased 3 lb loaf pan.

Spray or brush with water and sprinkle over rolled oats and oat bran.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Shaping the dough ready for the tin.

Cover with a clean tea towel, place in a straight free place and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Scoring And Baking The Oat Bran White Bread

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7.

As soon as the dough has risen score across the dough with a very sharp knife or grignette 4-5 times.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Proved and slashed Oat Bran White Bread ready for the oven.

Place the bread in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. The bread is baked when golden brown and carefully rapped with a knuckle and it sounds hollow.

As soon as the loaf is baked remove from the oven and turn out immediately on to a cooling rack to cool completely.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread

Allow the bread to cool fully before slicing.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Oat Bran White Bread you may also like these:

Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Lighter Wholemeal Bread Loaf
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf

Seeded Cob Bread
Seeded Cob Loaf

This Oat Bran White Bread loaf has a wonderful texture and flavour. While it does contain oats it certainly doesn’t taste like porridge. The oat bran lends a slight nuttiness, without the full on slog you get from a wholemeal loaf. It slices beautifully and makes equally good toast and sandwiches, although I confess to enjoying a slice with just butter on it. A really good loaf should have its own flavour and not just be a package for some cheese and ham.

If you love white bread, but want to incorporate more healthy fibre in your diet – this loaf is a great place to start!

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Easy Crusty Baguettes

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Hi, so I’ve now had feastingisfun.com for a year! Thank you to everyone who has taken time to read and comment on my blog. I appreciate you more than you could ever know. If I could bake each and everyone of you a cake I would. Instead I have a bread recipe for you!!! I know, I’m all heart – but this is a recipe you will, hopefully, thank me for. Easy Crusty Baguettes.

Easy Baguettes
Easy Crusty Baguettes

 

You may be thinking – “why bake my own baguettes when I can pick them up from the grocery store?”

Well, not everyone can get to a shop, they can be out of stock – but mostly I’m the kinda girl who is inquisitive. If I can buy something, I want to know if I can make it! Personally I get a real kick out of making something that’s so easy to buy – knowing exactly what’s gone into my creation! Easy Crusty Baguettes are so easy to make (if you have a stand mixer with dough hook or a bread maker they are easier still!) and taste so good.

The only ‘special’ piece of equipment I use is a French Baguette Tray.

French Baguette Trays
French Baguette Trays

 

I purchased my baguette from Amazon UK

Swift Faringdon Collection Bakers Pride Non-Stick French Bread Pan Carbon Steel 39 cm x 16 cm x 2.5 cm

by Faringdon Collection

 

I have made baguettes on a baking sheet, they were ok but tended to spread a little. I decided to buy one French Baguette Tray, used it, was thrilled with the results and quickly purchased a second tray. The advantages of using the baguette tray are that they really do hold the shape of the baguette, whilst it’s proving and baking and they are longer than most baking trays so you can put them in your oven at an angle – giving you longer baguettes. These Easy Crusty Baguettes are made using these trays.

Gorgeous imprint on the underside of the baguette from the tray.
Gorgeous imprint on the underside of the baguette from the tray.

 

Recipe : makes 3 x 16″ (40cm) Easy Crusty Baguettes

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

1 x 7g Sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast

1tsp Sugar or honey

300ml/10floz Lukewarm Water

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

1tsp Salt

Method :

I use a bread maker to mix, prove and knock back the dough, instructions will also be given for a stand mixer using a dough hook.

Place the water into the bowl. Add the yeast and sugar. Swirl with clean fingers to mix.

Add the flour so that it covers the water/yeast mixture. On top of the flour add the salt and butter.

If using a bread maker set the program to mix and prove.

If using a stand mixer slowly start to mix the ingredients. Once combined increase the speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes. Once mixing is complete form the dough into a ball, place back into the stand mixer bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.

When the bread mixer has finished proving, or the dough in the stand mixer is doubled in size it is time to knock back the dough.

Using the bread maker mix and prover cycle, start again and allow to knead for the mix part of the cycle then stop the machine and remove the dough.

Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment as before, remove the towel and start the mixer on low increasing to medium to knock back and knead the proved dough. If the dough doesn’t all pull together, stop the mixer. Using clean hands pull the dough into a ball shape. Knead the dough on a medium speed for a further 10 minutes. Stop the mixer and remove the dough from the bowl/dough hook.

Place the dough on a floured surface.
Place the dough on a floured surface.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces - unlike mine!!!
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces – unlike mine!!!
Roll each piece of dough out to just under the length of your baguette tray.
Roll each piece of dough out to just under the length of your baguette tray.
Place the baguette roll in the tray and using a very sharp knife slash lightly through the dough as in the photo.
Place the baguette roll in the tray and using a very sharp knife slash lightly through the dough as in the photo.

 

I could have recombined my dough to create three equal sized baguettes. What I did instead was to place the smaller baguette in a separate tray, knowing it would cook a little quicker than the other two! Very lazy I know!!

Place the trays in a draught free place and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to prove until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to it’s hottest setting and place a tray of hot water in the bottom of the oven. The steam produced will help give your Easy Crusty Baguettes the super crusty, crunchy exterior that is required in a baguette!

Removing the towel place the baguette trays into the oven diagonally. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the baguettes are golden, with a hard crust. They should sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.

Easy Baguettes - golden, crunchy, crust.
Easy Crusty Baguettes – golden, crunchy, crust.

 

Remove from the oven and place the baguettes on a cooling rack.

We ate one baguette the day they were made. The other two were stored in our bread tin. 2 days later I sprinkled them with a little water and placed in a preheated, hot oven for 5-8 minutes. Below is the baguette I refreshed in the oven. It tasted as good as the day it was made. Absolutely delicious with a really crunchy crust.

Easy Baguettes - perfect with cheese and chutney.
Easy Crusty Baguettes – perfect with cheese and chutney.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Easy Crusty Baguettes then you may also like these:

Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

FF Easy Crusty Baguettes
Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Oat Bran White Bread

FF Easy Crusty Baguettes
Oat Bran White Bread

Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks 

FF Easy Crusty Baguettes
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Of course there are times when we all buy baguettes – because, LIFE! If I lived near an artisan bakery I may never have made these. Really I am so glad I tried. For minimal effort, delicious bread is on hand. Easy Crusty Baguettes so worth the few minutes prep time.

Have you ever made baguettes?

I love reading your comments and appreciate you taking the time to write them.

You may also like Crusty White Bread                                                                 Wholemeal Cob Loaf

Sammie x

This is not a sponsored post, item links provided for information purposes only.

 

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Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

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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 Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread.

FF 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.

FF 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!

Bake Once Eat Twice

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!

FF Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread
Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

 

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

NOTE: Halve the ingredients for one focaccia

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

1 x 7g Sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast – I use Allinson

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling – I use Filippo Berio 

Approx 300-350ml lukewarm water

16-20 Cherry Tomatoes – halved

2tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves

4 Cloves of Garlic

Method : Using bread maker or stand mixer with dough hook attached.

Making The Focaccia Dough

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.

Shaping The Focaccia Dough

Using either method, once the first proof 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.

Baking The Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

While the bread is proving, preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan oven, gas mark 7, 425F.

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 and tastes 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!!

Allow the focaccia to cool so that it is just warm before serving. Cut into squares to serve.

Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Tomato Garlic Focaccia Bread you may also like these:

Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

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Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Sundried Tomato Olive Focaccia Bread

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Sundried Tomato Olive Focaccia Bread

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

FF Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

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.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

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Bread is something that I really enjoy making. Flour, yeast, salt and water, combined and worked, create a bread with real taste. Add in a few extra flavours and the possibilities are endless. Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread is an incredibly easy, yet packed with flavour bread. Perfect for making at home.

FF Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread.

This week in our house is all about birthdays. Our Lil Man will be 12 this week, it’s also my Sister’s birthday in the same week. Definitely time for Feasting, Celebrating and Fun! Covert baking operations during the day – ready for surprises on their special days. Ooh I love a celebration – well that is as long as I’m not the center of attention!

Fortunately, shyness is not something our son could ever be accused of having. His enthusiasm and passion for life is infectious and wonderful to see. He waits all year for his birthday and the night before, without fail, he reaches ‘ready to explode’ status!Christmas is the same for him, times a gazillion!I adore his passion & zest for life, even if at times it can be exhausting and overwhelming.

So, to make life a bit easier on myself today, I grabbed a previously, made and frozen Chicken and Four Cheese Lasagne  from the freezer last night and left it to defrost in the fridge overnight. Yes, I confess to feeling a tiny little bit smug.
Since I have a bread maker that makes my life (in the world of bread baking), so much easier, I decided to whip up a couple of these GARLIC ROSEMARY FOCACCIA BREAD.  Also, as this is such a reliable and easy recipe, I decided to share it with you.

Even with 4 Garlic bulbs added to the bread mixture & the same sprinkled on top, this Focaccia only has a mild Garlic taste.
Even with 4 Garlic bulbs added to the bread mixture & the same sprinkled on top, this Focaccia only has a mild Garlic taste.

GARLIC ROSEMARY FOCACCIA BREAD: makes 2 loaves.

You will need 2 x lightly oiled 8×8″ square tins ( with at least 2″ depth), or – 1 larger oiled baking tray (2″ deep) to bake one large focaccia.

Recipe: Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread 

1lb Strong Plain White Flour – I use Shipton Mill

300ml Warm (hand hot) Water

1 x 7g Sachet, Easy Blend Yeast

2 tbs Olive Oil (plus extra for drizzling over bread, oiling baking tins & cling film)

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper for top of the bread

2 tbs Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped

8 Garlic Bulbs (4 for bread mixture, 4 for topping the bread).

Method: Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

When using a bread maker or stand mixer:

Place the warm water into the pan or bowl of the device you are using, making sure the dough hook is attached to the stand mixer.

Sprinkle over the sachet of dried, activated yeast and swish about with clean fingers to mix.

Next place the flour on top of the liquid mixture. Add the oil and salt.

Now add 1 tbs of the finely chopped Rosemary and salt.

Mince most of the Rosemary finely, allowing a few whole & half leaves to remain so they can be seen in the bread!
Mince most of the Rosemary finely, allowing a few whole & half leaves to remain so they can be seen in the bread!

Add in four minced bulbs of garlic. I’m a very big fan of my garlic press (no peeling or chopping), but you may chop, process, squish with the back of your knife. Please don’t write in with other methods for finely mincing garlic, just be happy that you’re innovative.

Now mix & prove (if using a bread maker). With a stand mixer, attach the dough hook & mix for 8-10 minutes, until the dough has a silky, stretchy, elasticity about it.

If kneading by hand, bring all the ingredients together and work (knead) the dough until you can feel the change, when the dough again stretches easily and feels silky to touch – a good way to check that the dough has been worked enough is that it should be hard to tear.

Shape the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl, then turn the ball over, so the top has an oily layer & cover tightly with cling film. Place in a warm draught free place until doubled in size (about an hour).

Prepare the baking tins (or large tin if only using one) by placing some oil in the tin (approx 1tsp for a smaller tin).  Then using your fingers or a piece of kitchen towel completely cover the inside of the tin with a light slick if oil. When doing this by hand, your nails also benefit from a cuticle treatment.
Talking of fingers, if you have long nails it’s probably easier to apply the oil with the kitchen cloth. It also probably means you look after your hands and nails may not need a quick, olive oil cuticle treatment. Just saying, I NEED the treatment.

If using a bread machine switch on to knead cycle to knock the dough back for a minute. With the dough in the bowl, remove the cling film & gently punch down (enjoy the soft enveloping feeling!)the dough to knock out the air bubbles and gently knead by hand for 2 minutes.

Half the focaccia dough.
Half the focaccia dough.

Divide the dough in two (or leave whole if making a larger Focaccia) using a sharp knife or a dough cutter.
Place half the dough into each tin (or all into one tin).

NOW is the absolutely BEST thing about making this type of bread. If you loved making mud pies when you where younger, or maybe still do, you’re going to LOVE this next bit.
Using your the heel of your hand, gradually press the dough out until it reaches the edges of the tin and is roughly the same thickness across the tin.

Check out my dimples!!!!
Check out my dimples!!!!

Next using your fingers, have great fun making lots & lots & lots of dimples in the dough – to give it the classic focaccia look.
Can you tell how much I really love that part? So much fun!
Drizzle a little olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt flakes, the rest of the finely minced Rosemary, a grinding of pepper and the rest of the garlic. Split over 2 tins if making 2 Focaccia loves.

Lightly oil some cling film:
TOP TIP: Using a clean wet cloth wipe some of your work surface so that it is damp. When laying your cling film over the top it will lay flat and not attempt to attach itself to itself, you, or random kitchen objects. You can then easily spread a light coating of oil over the cling using your hands, or a pastry brush.
I know there’s oil in the dough, the tin has been oiled, you’ve just drizzled oil on top of the focaccia – JUST TRUST ME!

Most of the time you could get away with not oiling the cling, but and it’s happened to me, it WON’T EVER STICK if you oil the cling!

The risen dough does lose some of the dimply effect - so if you want more dimples, repeat the process!!!!
The risen dough does lose some of the dimply effect – so if you want more dimples, repeat the process!!!!

Cover the top of the tin with the oiled cling (so it’s airtight) and leave in a warm, draught free place until doubled in size. Alternatively,  place the dough in the fridge. While it will take longer to rise, the bread will develop a lovely flavour, due to the slow prove. It’s your dough, so, do whatever you fancy.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT TIP – I have successfully risen the dough slowly in the fridge, completely forgotten about it, so it quadruples in size. Knock it back by recreating the dimpled effect, as before, left to rise and it’s turned out fine.
Bake the focaccia in a preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until a golden colour and still quite soft. The base should sound hollow when rapped with a knuckle.

Once baked, remove from the oven, take a deep breath, the smell is intoxicating. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, run round the outside with a palette knife until you can feel the loaf easing from the tin. Turn the bread out and place on to a cooling rack. Repeat with second tin.

Please dunk me in some scrummy soup, pasta sauce or sausage casserole?
Please dunk me in some scrummy soup, pasta sauce or sausage casserole?

The Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread will be marshmallowy soft & is fine to serve warm as is. Or cool, wrap in foil and freeze for up to one month.
If you prefer a slight crust to your focaccia, 10 mins before serving, place the bread directly on to the rack of a preheated oven (as for baking the dough) for 5 – 10 minutes, depending on how crusty you like it.
Because this bread is thinner than a loaf, you can cut or tear the bread whilst still warm.

FF Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread baked as a whole.

This bread goes with any dish you would normally serve garlic bread with. It also goes fantastically well with soup. Spicy vegetable, leek and potato are especially good with this bread. It is ideal for dunking!
One Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread is plenty for our family of five, so I wrap in foil and freeze the other one.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread you may also like these:

Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia

FF Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread.

Easy Crusty Baguettes

FF Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Easy Crusty Baguettes.

Garlic Cheese Bombs

FF Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Garlic Cheese Bombs

I really hope you give this recipe a try. You can vary the herbs. I’ve used Thyme, Oregano and SHOCK/HORROR dried mixed herbs. Ooh I’m such a rebel! But seriously, it works better with the woodier herbs (rather than parsley/fennel) mentioned. Since I find that soft herbs are better mixed with butter and oil, then slathered into a baguette/ciabatta (part bake baguettes work well for this!).
Until next time, I hope you have fun giving this recipe a go and enjoy feasting with whoever you share it with.

See you soon. Sammie xx

No part of this blog post may be replicated without written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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