My Saturday mornings normally consist of lazing around the house, making myself a fry up and watching cookery programmes on tv. This week was a little different. I met up with friends at the Open Kitchen in Hoxton for a bread making workshop.
I’ve not made much bread recently as I have some great Turkish shops around me with really yummy fresh bread, but I want to make more of my own to add to my baking repertoire.
So this was a great opportunity to have advice from chef lecturer Chris Skippers; he first gave us an introduction to the centre, and the work they do with their students at the college. He then proceeded in giving us useful tips for the ingredients of bread making, explaining the benefits of using fresh yeast over dried.
He first gave us a demonstration of the way we were make our bread taking us step by step through the whole process. Then it was over to us, we had the recipe beside us and two students on hand to help us if we made any mistakes or if we were unsure if we were doing it correctly.
This was my first time in a large kitchen and it was really rather exciting, most of my cooking I do by myself so it was nice baking alongside friends. We baked two different types of bread- a focaccia with white flour, and a loaf with brown flour.
350g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250ml tepid water
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1. Put the flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in 2 tbsp of the olive oil.
2. Mix the yeast in with the tepid water. Gradually mix in the yeast water with the flour, using a wooden spoon at first, then by hand, to make soft slightly sticky dough.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes
4. Shape the dough into a ball and slap it onto a greased baking sheet, the roll it out into a round and leave in a warm place for about 25 minutes or until the dough has doubled in thickness.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/ 400F/ Gas mark 8. Uncover the bread and press the risen dough to make deep dents all over the top; wet your fingers with water each time.
6. Brush the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil over the bread and sprinkle with coarse salt.
7. Bake the focaccia for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.