Mozzarella & Pesto Focaccia Bread

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I’ve only gone and done it – I’ve made a savoury recipe! The Queen of Cakes (I’m giving myself this title – just for today ok!) has made a savoury bread. Being totally honest, I stink at making anything other than cakes and sweet treats. While I can knock up a dessert in no time, I couldn’t make a chicken pie, beef bourguignon or cook a decent steak or anything nice like that to save my life. Dinners are not my forte AT ALL…..What a rubbish wife I would make, boo hoo 😦

So this week I decided I’d try out a bread recipe, start with something simple and in no time I’ll be throwing together a fantastic 5 course meal…..maybe….maybe not… who knows?! πŸ˜‰

This one is easy enough and can be adapted to put whatever you like in it really. I’ve since done it with sundried tomatoes and fresh basil, or chicken and pesto. It ain’t low in fat but it tastes good and that’s all that matters right?

Ingredients List
4g caster sugar… about 1 teaspoon
7g active dry yeast (little sachets you buy from the supermarket)
80ml warm water
250g plain flour
olive oil
20g coarse salt
extra warm water

1 125g pack of fresh mozzarella
5 tablespoons pesto

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and yeast in the 80ml warm water. Leave it to stand until creamy, about 10 mins. I need to warn you, this mixture smells yuk – stinky yeast!

2. Sieve the plain flour into your mixing bowl and after the 10 mins are up, combine the yeast mixture with the flour. Now you need to start adding in additional warm water, I don’t have an exact measurement if I’m honest, just add it a splash at a time then mix in well after each splash until the dough has pulled together.

3. Once it has, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute. Supposedly kneading bread is therapeutic…. personally I find wine a lot more therapeutic, but hey, it might work for you guys so knead away πŸ™‚

4. Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough in the bowl and turn over to coat the other side with oil. Cover this with a damp cloth and put in a warm place for about 30 mins until it’s almost doubled in volume. Some people use their hot press for this but mine isn’t warm enough so I turn on my oven and leave the bowl on the oven door catching some of the heat but not cooking. Either way you need to preheat the oven now to about 220 degrees or 200ish if using a fan oven.

5. After the 30 mins, deflate the dough and turn out onto a floured surface, knead briefly. Pat or roll the dough into shape and place into an oiled dish suitable for the oven. Pour some more oil over the top (see I told you it wasn’t healthy!!)

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6. If you wanted plain Focaccia you are ready to bake but if you are adding stuff now is the time to do so. I sprinkled this one with dried basil but if you are using fresh ingredients like the mozzarella or sundried tomatoes you kinda want to make little pockets and stick the ingredients in and then cover them over with the dough so they don’t dry out while in the oven. I just tore up the mozzarella and randomly stuck it in.

7. Bake the bread in the pre heated oven for 15-25 min depending how crispy you like it. I like mine nice and crispy so usually leave for 25 mins. I just put some pesto over it after it was fully cooked and then ate while warm, yummy.

And that’s it! It’s not my finest looking recipe as I really hadn’t a clue what I was doing but practice makes perfect and it did taste good. Anyone with any tips feel free to pass some on! πŸ™‚

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