First up let’s hear it for cooking with wine. In this case I did not put any in the food. Tonight’s menu was pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce accompanied by a focaccia. The wine was a lovely Montepulciano D’Abruzzo we picked up in Italy. I apologise in advance for any typos.
I dithered endlessly over what to cook tonight and eventually I came up with something that I wouldn’t have to go out and buy anything for. We came home to find dad hadn’t picked any of the cherry tomatoes so we had a nice bowl full of those and the rest was all store cupboard stuff. The tomatoes were great though, so sweet they almost tasted like plums! I found out that I only had 200g bread flour so I just used plain flour to round out the whole 500g. As this is a flatish bread I just made sure it was well worked but I don’t think I’d use plain in any bread that needed the height. I noticed a definite difference when working the dough.
I actually made two focaccia tonight, the one with bacon for the three of us and a smaller one for our neighbour without the bacon but with rosemary as she is a vegetarian. I find that this recipe makes too much for just the three of us but my neighbour is always glad to take spares!
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
500g strong white flour (I used 200g bread, 300g plain)
7g fast action yeast
2 tsp salt
325ml warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
12 or so cherry tomatoes
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 ball mozzerella, shredded
– Put the garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Put to one side.
– Combine the flour, yeast, salt and water in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
– Add the oil and continue to mix.
– Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth.
– Place in an oiled bowl an leave in a draft free warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.*
– Meanwhile quickly cook your bacon bits and leave to cool.
– Knock down the dough and turn out onto an oiled baking tray. (For two like I did simply slice off about a third of the dough and prep two trays)
– Press out into a rough rectangle, cover and leave to rise for another 30 minutes
– Heat the oven to Gas Mark 7.
– Once the dough has risen again use your fingers to poke the indentations into it all over.
– Press tomato pieces and bacon bits into these holes and drizzle with the garlic and olive oil.
– Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and poke the shredded mozzerella into the indentations too.
– Return to the oven for 15 minutes.
– Remove from the oven and serve straight away.
* I heat the oven on Slow Cook while making the dough then switch it off and put my dough to rise in the oven as the house is quite cool during the day as it starts to get cooler. I also give it an hour and a half. When it comes to the second rise I have the main oven heating and put the trays in the top oven so the heat carries up.