Making Vegan Focaccia the Witchy Way
So, today my boo and I decided to make some bread, specifically focaccia. It was his first time making it and I’d only seen my momma do it before so it could have gone really badly, however I think it was a pretty good success.
Firstly we found a basic recipe on the interwebs and worked out what ingredients we needed:
- 300ml/½ pint tepid water
- 1½ tsp dried yeast or 2 heaped tsp fresh yeast
- 500g/1lb 2oz ‘00’ flour or strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 150 ml extra virgin olive oil for topping
- medium coarse sea salt
- 2 sprigs rosemary, torn into small pieces
Along with this we also decided to add three cloves of garlic because garlic is good. Plus one of my flat mates may be a vampire and I don’t want him eating my food.
SO! After a wee trip to our local ASDA we finally had everything (we needed flour and yeast because I was so unprepared.) We also maybe accidentally bought cookies. The first step was to prep the yeast.
1. Pour a little of the tepid water into a small bowl. Add the yeast and blend using your fingers. Leave the yeast for five minutes to soften and dissolve.
Ok so I messed up this step. I didn’t read the instructions properly and boo was busy sorting out banging choons on spotify so I ended up adding my yeast to the whole 300ml of water. However it didn’t seem to be too bad and it smelled super good so I just powered through.
2. Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. You may like to transfer your mixture to a pastry board or other flat work surface at this stage and prepare the dough there, in traditional Tuscan style. Otherwise, mix the dough in the bowl.
Yeah I’m nowhere near fancy enough to have a pastry board so we did it ye olde English way. In a bowl.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and salt mixture. Pour the blended yeast and water into the well along with the olive oil. Mix thoroughly. Gradually add the rest of the tepid water until a sticky dough is formed.
This was really bloody sticky. Obviously I used my hands and even after vigorous washing they still smell like dough. MMMmmm.
4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface. Gather any stray pieces. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, adding a little extra flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic and the dough no longer sticks to your hand. To see if it is ready, you can carry out the stretch test: pull off a piece of dough, it should be elastic enough not to break quickly when stretched out.
5. Next accumulate any stray ends and rough sections by 'chafing’ your ball of dough. Hold it and curve your hands around it, use your palms to pull at its sides gently while you slowly rotate it, letting your little fingers meet underneath. Do this for five minutes. You should be left with a neat, smooth ball.
6. Oil a bowl and place the dough inside and cover with either oiled cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size - about 1½ hours depending on the room temperature.
This was the point in the process where I remembered to take pictures. Also I messed up my elbow kneading the dough so boo took over.
That rose so much oh my word it was huge and the house smelled soooo good.
7. Use your fist to knock it back, then knead it again for a further two minutes.
8. Leave to rest again, but only for 5-10 minutes
It was at this point where I decided to go off recipe a bit and make up my own nonsense. I’d seen in other recipes that people had made a garlic and rosemary oil infusion to put on the focaccia and it looked goof so I gave it a go.
9. Add a few teaspoons of the remaining oil into a saucepan and then add 3 cloves crushed garlic. Once the garlic has browned, add the rest of the 150ml of oil, and then add three sprigs of rosemary. When it reaches its boiling point remove from heat immediately and save for step 11.
10. After proofing shape the dough by placing into a shallow baking tray, using your hands to spread it out to a depth of about 1.5cm/¾in, then allow to rise again, covered with a tea towel, until doubled in size - this will take about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
11. Strain the oil and save the rosemary and garlic pieces. Gently drizzle the oil onto the dough, don’t worry if it looks like there is too much, there isn’t. Then add the rosemary and garlic pieces and press into the dough with finger tips, creating dimples.
12. Sprinkle with sea salt/coarse salt and then bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top is crusty and cooked through to the base. Serve.
I’m not gonna lie, I forgot about the salt until about 15 minutes into cooking but I added it then and it turned out pretty well.
Voila! The finished focaccia! Made with love. I couldn’t have made it without @dommadude so thank you <3
★ Peace out witches!!! ★