Friday, 3 November 2017

Olive and Fennel Focaccia - Vegan

One of the things I learned and became confident as a result of my blog was baking, especially breads. I am not claiming to be Bake off standard baker. I am far from it. But I know the basics now, which I did not know a few years ago. Bread is probably one of the things I love baking the most. The beauty of kneading the dough, the rising of it, shaping and finally the smell of warm bread fascinates me.

I have been away from my blog for way too long. I almost assumed this journey was over. But then life takes many twists and turns. And today I needed to be here. I needed to bake a bread. Today's bread was served with this Butternut Squash Soup. With Autumn on full swing, and winter slowly creeping in on us, I am sure this will be an amazing dinner.


For the Dough

Instant Yeast 21/4 tsp (1 pkt)
Sugar 1.5 tbsp
Bread Flour 4 cups (520 gms) (use 1 tbsp of Vital Wheat Gluten with all purpose flour or just use all purpose flour)
Salt 1 tsp
Olive Oil 1/4 cup
Warm Water 1 - 1.5 cups
A little more olive oil for brushing dough

For the Topping

Black Olives 8-10 chopped
Green Olives 8-10 chopped
Fennel Seeds 1 tsp crushed
Olive Oil 1/4 cup

Method of Preparation

1. Put the yeast, sugar flour, salt and oil in the bowl and mix well.

2. Then add 1 cup of warm water (and as much more as you need) and knead until you have a soft elastic dough that is just short of sticky.

3. Remove the dough from the bowl, shape into a round and place in a well oiled bowl turning the dough around so it is coated. Cover and let it rise till almost double in volume. This should take about an hour.

4. I made a large 13*10 inch focaccia with this dough. Line the pan with baking paper.

5. Roll the dough out (or press out) evenly. It alright if it’s an odd shape because Focaccia is really a “rustic” bread.

6. Transfer the dough to the baking tray. Or you can press the dough on the paper and just transfer the paper to the tray.

7. Let it rise for 20 minutes. Lightly oil your finger tips and press into the dough creating evenly spaced “dimples” in it.

8. Mix the fennel and oil and brush on the bread. Scatter the olives on top.

9. Bake at 210C (410F) for about 13-15 till it is browned on top. Mine bake very quickly. Most recipes call for 20-30 min baking. Please keep an eye and bake as needed till top is nicely browned the bottom sounds hollow on tapping.

10. Cut the Focaccia into slices and serve while it is still hot.

This recipe should serve 4 if served alone or 6 if served with a side.

Don't forget to check out the soup recipe - Butternut Squash Soup

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