I spent part of today teaching my parents

☆Homemade Bread☆

I spent part of today teaching my parents how to make focaccia, my sourdough/yeast hybrid. A recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years. One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt through baking bread is more what you don’t do, rather than do. I think it’s probably fair to say the beginning and end stages are the most important. An autolysation stage, resting the dough for 30 minutes after mixing of flour, water, starter and yeast allows the flour to become fully hydrated. (Some bakers advise this stage should just be flour and water and can vary in time) Gentle kneading, interspersed with 10 minute intervals, followed by two stretch and folds really is enough. Gentle is the keyword, I really do think it makes for better bread. The dough will prove in it’s own good time, I usually reckon on 1½ hours, today 2 was needed. There are ways to speed it up, you may even have a proving drawer. I would however advise against forcing a rise, the resulting bread may well disappoint. Once risen and shaped, a good hot oven is critical to almost any loaf, encouraging good crust formation and further oven spring. Baking times may vary, you’ll know your oven better than me, don’t be afraid to cook for longer, until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. When it comes to focaccia, it really is much more preferable to brush a rosemary oil over the top rather than stud with sprigs. Do this as soon as it comes out of the oven. That’s a tip. Thank you.
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