Turns out, the last post I wrote was my 100th.
This little jhola of mine has been with me through so much–I started writing the blog one boring afternoon when I was lonely and feeling utterly unproductive and useless. It opened up a new world for me. It gave me something to divert my mind–even the possibility of losing a loved one. It was there when I discovered my pregnancy, and it is here, recording my journey through motherhood and my daughter’s lovely days as she grows up (a tad too fast). It helped me rediscover cooking; it taught me photography. It gave me an identity, it gave me confidence. It taught me to be proud of the choices I made. It gave me friends. I owe it so much.
My family has been my greatest support–MK, my parents, and my brother read my blog religiously, and give me critical feedback and loads of encouragement. The lovely camera I now use was more a gift for the blog than for me. My endless pottering about in strange places for props is met with light-hearted complaints, and the everyday experiments in the kitchen are quietly tolerated by the family. Mrs. B and our new staff member, S, never complain about the dirty counter and the pile of dirty utensils in the sink. What would I have done without these people?
So thank you, everyone, for helping me reach thus far. But most of all, thank you, My Jhola, for always being there for me. I love you.
And now that we’re done with the Oscar speech for the day, let’s get on with today’s recipe. How to make Food Processor Focaccia. Why the food processor? Because however sexy baking bread can be, it is hardly any fun when a certain toddler wants to reach up to the counter and get a grab of the flour while you’re kneading it, happily imagining you’re in a sunny, country-style kitchen, looking out onto your garden, when actually, you’re busy fighting aforementioned toddler attacks on a rainy afternoon with a crow cawing incessantly at your window. There. I’ve said it.
But you know what, this recipe worked out so beautifully, I wonder if I’ll ever get back to counter-top kneading again. I mean, if it saved me dirty hands and time, and gave me gorgeous bread, why would I go back? It’s a great bread-making method for people who do not own bread machines and don’t like to get their hands dirty.
The recipe I followed is Sanjeev Kapoor’s Focaccia recipe from Cakes and Bakes. I find the book quite foolproof, as you know from here and here. Here’s the recipe with a few of my own twists in ingredients and method:
- 3 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 15 gms. fresh yeast (or 25 gms dried yeast)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil + for brushing
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3-4 leaves of sage, finely chopped
- About 1 cup of lukewarm water
- Place the sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl and pour over some lukewarm water (about half a cup). Leave to froth in a warm spot for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the flour and salt in a food processor and blitz for a moment, just to combine.
- Once the yeast turns frothy, start the food processor, and slowly add the yeasty water. Knead at low speed until combined, using more water if necessary.
- Now, turn up the speed to high, and knead for an additional two minutes.
- By now, you will have a rather sticky dough. Don’t panic, and don’t add extra flour.
- Add the olive oil and give it another half a minute.
- Remove the lid of the food processor and cover with cling wrap or damp muslin and leave to proove in the food processor for about half an hour or until the dough doubles in size.
- Now, add the chopped garlic and sage, and give the food processor another whirl.
- Turn out onto a greased baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment to reduce washing up) and flatten into a rectangle (-ish) shape with the help of greased hands.
- Make dimples in the bread by sticking your thumb in the flattened dough. (A step that I completely forgot)
- Leave to prove again, covered, for about 20 mins.
- Sprinkle water over the dough, and add more garlic and sage on top, if liked. (I forgot to do this as well)
- Bake in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes until golden and done.
- Remove and brush immediately with olive oil.