There really is nothing like homemade bread. It’s easier than you think!
Generally i’m put off baking my own because of the idea of proving, but in reality, if i’m baking something like cookies, i’ll spend so much time procrastinating and cleaning up (licking the bowl), that I might as well have waited for the cookie dough to prove for an hour anyway. So, don’t shy away from the focaccia just because you’ve got to go an do something else for an hour while the dough turns itself into something goddamn delicious for you. In fact, this focaccia recipe is incredibly simple and can be tackled by bread beginners.
Focaccia is a gorgeous, rustic bread that is perfect for a picnic with Spiced Maple Aubergine & Chickpea Salad or for dinner served with Grilled Asparagus Quinoa Risotto. Tear it and share it with your family, friends and guests just with a little pounding, a little waiting and a little baking.
Vegan focaccia is easy to get hold on in most supermarkets and bakeries, usually topped with a little rosemary and sea salt. Of course these simple flavours are delicious, but why stop there when you can make it interesting?! This fluffy focaccia is embedded with juicy blackberries and paired with fragrant thyme. Try it. Sweet and savoury really can work.
One of my favourite past times is to forage for the blackberries in early September. This time of year, the blackberries are crowding the bushes screaming at me to pick them. Me and my Tupperware go back and forth through the countryside and forests in search of the juiciest blackberries, so therapeutic. One of the most exciting things about blackberry foraging is that it’s all free! Buying this berry would set you back a few quid a punnet, so for a super scrimper like me, this is an opportunity not to be missed. With flour and yeast being pretty cheap already, this recipe is great for those on a budget, not that you would guess looking at the fancy sharing loaf!
Now, go take your anger out on that wheat and tell me what you think !
- 3 cups strong white flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 7g (1 sachet) fast action yeast
- ½ tbsp. sugar
- ½ tbsp. sea salt
- 300ml warm water
- ½ cup blackberries
- A generous handful of fresh thyme
- Olive oil and extra sea salt
- Mix together yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes until foamy.
- In a large bowl mix the flour and salt together and create a well in the centre.
- Pour in the yeast mixture and mix with a fork until it comes together. Use your hands to begin kneading, picking all the flour up into a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, begin to knead for about 10 minutes. You can test if its ready by pressing a floured finger into the dough - if the imprint springs back to shape, it's ready. If not, keep kneading.
- Transfer the ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled in size.
- Pre heat your oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and prepare a large baking tray by dusting with flour.
- Turn out the dough onto the baking tray and stretch and pound into a oval/rectangle shape (about 30cm by 20cm). Make small indents in the focaccia by pressing your finger into the dough every few inches.
- Dust the blackberries with a little flour then push them randomly into the dough, along with the thyme. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and drizzle over a little olive oil.
- Cover again with a tea towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Place in the oven for 23-25 minutes or until golden on top and cooked though to the bottom (you should be able to lift the bread and tap the bottom)
- Best served on the day of baking, or kept air tight and eaten the next day.