I LOVE Focaccia style bread. I love the texture, I love the taste I love the way you can just eat it without anything else on it and how if you do want something on it it just works. It’s how this experiment came to be really.
I had just started my Sour Dough Adventure and I wanted to make all kinds of things, all at once right away. Daft really because there was no way I could eat it all by myself and I knew if I put certain flavours in it my partner would just run for the hills and my son had been warned by my partner on pain of death not to touch his mothers’ bread. As it was I did share and my son loved it and immediately recognised it as a focaccia style loaf and loved it. I call this a win.
It was really simple and as it was my first ever sough dough loaf I have to admit I was chuffed to bits with how it turned out. Oh and in case the whole vegan feta is putting you off, don’t let it. You can swop it out for the dairy variety if that’s what you wish but honestly, I tried it because I need to start being more plant based in my diet and dairy leaves me feeling a bit bletch. When I used the Vegan Feta it was AMAZING!!! My son couldn’t even tell the difference and it just left melted nommy pockets of flavour all the way through the bread that just burst in your mouth. It was really, really, really good.
So this bread is really simple to make. I started off with 4 of my coffee cups of flour and 2 of my coffee cups of starter. I know it’s a really ambiguous kind of measurement but as long as the proportions are right, you will get the same result so basically use a cup measure or your own cups just do a 2:1 ratio, simples. I know my mixer can cope with this amount but no more or it starts to get jumpy and thumpy and we don’t want that.
Once the dough started looking like this I added a couple of glugs of Olive Oil.
If you aren’t sure what that is, you turn your bottle upside down and once it makes the Glug sound you’re right just count them, so a couple of glugs is 2 maybe 3 glugs sounds from the bottle.
So we ended up with a beautiful velvety smooth and pullable dough. I chucked it in a seperate bowl that I had oiled lightly for it’s first rise.
Prepping the bread for it’s second rise I added our flavours. The reason I used Vegan Feta Cheese is that is what I had. Use whatever you have. If you have dairy Feta then use it. I don’t care at the end of the day this is just an idea and what I like. I have an issue with too much dairy I have no gall bladder so too much fat and creaminess can make me feel incredibly unwell. I do eat it just not all the time. So anyways here we go, I had had a jar of sundried tomatoes in oil hidden away in the back of the cupboard for just such an opportunity. I get things while they’re on offer or make it if I can find the ingredients myself and have the room. Spring Onions are all over the place right now and really really cheap. Basically I used a cup of each.
Just knead the ingredients into your bread gently until all of them are mixed through well. Sure you do need to knead it and the dough is pretty tough and will put up with alot. Your fillings may not though, especially the cheese. You want it to keep in decent chunks not crumbs. Once I did that I shaped the loaf and popped it on a floured baking tray and coated in a light coat of oil. Then covered it in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out on the top while it sat for it’s second rise.
Then it was oven time. I gave it half an hour at Gas Mark 7 which is 220C or 425F. Our oven is a bit temperamental and because it is gas it tends to not run as hot as it probably should. However it did turn out rather good if I do say so myself I mean see for yourself … It does look rather AMAZING on the outside…
“But what about the inside?” I hear you wail … well … check this out …
Now I’m not going to lie I kinda though it was a bit under done. However it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The feta had melted through the dough giving it pockets of melty gooey goodness and because it had melted a bit through the bread as it was cooking, what I first thought was undercooked dough, turned out to be full of melted cheesey goodness.
So once sliced I ended up with this…
As chunky slices this bread was demolished in double quick time, in fact these slices pictured were my dinner. It was BLOOTIFUL!!! gooey and soft but chewy with pops of flavour and soooooo easy to eat. It was almost Focaccia like.
I’m just going to write my recipe here below for now until I can pull the pennies together to update my blog to get the recipe widget so you can print it off. Just copy and paste it old school for now and when I can I will update it. If you want to help this process move along more quickly feel free to join my Patreon community. You will be involved with all the weird and wonderful things that I get on with in my day including my artwork and all sorts of geeky weirdness.
Anyway enough of the shameless self promotion. Here’s yah recipe…
750g Plain Flour (extra for dusting)
350ml Sour Dough Starter
50ml Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 Cup Spring Onions (chopped)
1/2 Cup Vegan Feta ( or dairy based)
Knead the Flour and Starter together until just mixed, leave in your bowl for 15 minutes. Add the Olive Oil and knead for 5 minutes on a slow mixer with a dough hook or for 15 minutes by hand. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a wet tea towel to rise for 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. Pull and knead the dough, then add the Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spring Onions and Cheese and gently hand knead it through the dough until fully combined, shape and place on a floured baking tray, covered to rise until doubles in size. Place in preheated oven for half an hour or until loaf is brown and hollow sounding when you tap the base. If its dark brown on top and not quite there on the bottom, turn it upside down and leave it in the oven for an extra 10 minutes. Once cooked place on a rack to cool. Or serve it straight away…hot and melty… cos DAMN!!!