Weeks ago, I bought this little basil pot from Market Place at Raffles City which I thought would be great to grow my own little pot so that I can pick my own fresh herbs whenever I want! I brought it to my office at first, thinking that it would be great to take care of it myself and at the same time inject some greenery into my office. Thereafter I find that it's leaves started drooping. Doing some googling, I learnt that these plants need sunlight to grow well, not neccessary direct sunlight but it loves the outdoor. So I had to bring it home. There it is now, growing healthily with a good abundance of green leaves. One variation of focaccia is to use herbs, rosemary being one of a popular one. I did not have rosemary, so I decided to use basil.
The entire making process wasn't that tough, with the help of my breadmaker to do the kneading. What you need is just time. I used the Basic Focaccia recipe from Williams-Sonoma's Essential of Baking. There are many bread recipes which I'm dying to try as well... They just look simply enticing.
2 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast
220 ml of warm water
1/2 tsp sugar
90 ml olive oil
390 g all purpose flour (I used bread flour)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp coarse salt (optional)
- Place ingredients into the breadmaker according to the sequence - water, sugar, fine salt, 60 ml of the olive oil, flour and yeast.
- Set the breadmaker to "dough mode" to begin the kneading cycle (the cycle takes 20 minutes)
- After 20 minutes, restart the cycle again and knead for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- After the kneading process, form the dough into a ball, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let dough rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
- Pour remaining 30 ml evenly onto a sheet pan. Turn the dough out into the pan. (I didn't use 30 ml as it's too oily. I pour a suitable amount and spread it evenly)
- Press dough evenly into the pan. If dough is too elastic, let rest for 5 minutes.
- Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap or dry kitchen towel. Let it rise of 1 hour.
- Position a rack at the lower third of the oven. Preheat to 230C.
- Dimple the dough by pressing your fingertips all the way into it at 1-inch intervals over the entire surface.
- Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, oregano or rosemary.
- Bake until golden brown, for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer to wire rack and let cool in the pan.
Recipe source: Williams-Sonoma's Essentials of Baking
Even before the bread is cooled completely, I wasted no time in slicing it, fried an egg and had my favourite sandwich made all from scratch! Nothing beats having homemade bread filled with favourite fillings. :D