Ahhh the joys of messy play. I generally think we incorporate the messy play quota in our regular baking but bread making always takes it to the next level. I’m not particularly tidy (usually a walking mess) and even I have to admit there’s something frustrating in cleaning chunks of dried dough out of your cutlery drawers two days post baking. But this bread is truly delicious and it’s not often the kids will happily chomp down on anything garlicky, basily and mildly unpronoucable by a Welsh 3 year old!
I’m so eager to share this recipe with you that I’m actually writing it up on the floor of my super awake 20 month olds bedroom while she throws dummies over the cot bars towards my head.
You don’t need any special equipment to make bread but a baking tray lined with baking paper is pretty essential.
- 450g Strong white flour
- 7g dried yeast
- Heaped tablespoon runny honey
- Teaspoon salt plus extra coarse sea salt
- 50ml garlic infused olive oil plus 2 extra tablespoons for drizzling
- Tablespoon dried basil
- 300ml warm water
(If decorating also prep 4 spring onions, cherry tomatoes, mini peppers or whatever veg you fancy).
In a jug, combine the water, yeast and honey, and give a good stir.
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt- then pour in the olive oil and yeasty water mix.
Give this a good mix until you have a very sticky dough (if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook feel free to use thisto combine the ingredients)
Once you have your dough the messy fun really begins… Scatter plenty of flour on your kitchen surface and knead- stretch- play with the dough for a good 10 minutes or until very elastic. This is pretty close to liquid dough so expect all the mess!
This takes time but it’s 100% necessary for a perfect Focaccia.
Pop into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
Ruin your already ransacked kitchen by adding yet more flour to your worktop. Gently roll/ stretch into a rectangle- being careful not to take much air out of the dough.
Pop onto the baking tray and loosely cover again with the damp tea towel.
Preheat the oven to 200°c Gas Mark 6
Leave to sit for another 30 minutes or until it’s puffed back up to doubled size again.
With your fingers, poke dents throughout the surface of the bread. Gently rub the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with the sea salt and basil.
If your decorating with veggies now is also the time to arrange your topping.
Bake for 30 minutes or until completely golden.
Beautiful served warm with a nice saucy pasta!
In case you were wondering; yes I’m still on the floor and yes the baby’s still awake #mumlife.