So, I made the decorated focaccia!
Looks pretty good don’t you think?
I am pretty proud of it. Even if it was a disaster to make!
When @Scribulatora and I came up with this idea, we thought it would be fun and give us something to do that was different. It helps if you’re a simple baker. It helps if you’re a chef with skills if you’re cooped up in isolation and run into the issues I ran into!
So, roll back, when I originally asked my personal chef, Greg, aka, the Peppermaster, how to do this, he offered his sourdough focaccia recipe he used to make for his restaurant, but didn’t think it’d be ready on time because sourdough takes a few days to make. So he offered another bread recipe but this one took flour. All I had was gluten free mix.
We started the sourdough almost immediately so it would be ready today or tomorrow latest… It may be a few years from the looks of it…
So today, we got up and went to start the dough and we couldn’t find the yeast. I KNOW we had yeast we had bought it not so long ago, and I saw it recently. Finally I found the yeast and I am pretty sure it’s dead. It’s dated Dec 2012. We tried it, and it is rising about as well as the sourdough slurry. I’ll let you know on twitter if either of them ever rise.
So, the whole point of this challenge was to work with what you have on hand, y’know, wing it. I had a tin of baking powder in the cupboard, the perfect thing for a quick bread and I had joked on Twitter that the challenge only required a decorated focaccia. I’d even said, that if all you had were muffin ingredients you could do that too. One fellow threatened hockey pucks and I said that neither @Scribulatora nor I had made any rule about it being edible, so hockey pucks were in.
The beautiful, if I do say so myself, decorated focaccia you see in the lede photo is the result of our work. Greg helped me with a few things, for obvious reasons.
Here’s the simple quick bread recipe I actually used;
3 cups all purpose flour — I used a gluten-free all purpose mix, brand named Cannelle.
1 3/4 cups water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp baking power
I literally drenched the baking pan with olive oil and then used my fingers to make sure it was in the corners and a good inch up the pan, just in case it rose. I wasn’t holding my breath at this point. It was NOT going to be the gorgeous fluffy olive oil delicacy I had planned, but it sure as Hell was going to taste like olive oil. I mixed all the dry ingredients together and then set them aside as I planned the decoration of the focaccia ahem biscuit.
THIS was actually what I had pictured in my mind…
Thinking about decorated focaccia pic.twitter.com/XtD6d4NgOF
— Elliott (@wintrycalm) April 8, 2020
Okay, ambitious. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to make flowers anywhere near so pretty as those in the picture, to begin with, I didn’t have any of the ingredients that were used in the image. So, again, I had to wing it, gathering together what we did have.
Greg quickly mixed the biscuit dough kneaded it between his fingers once or twice to ensure he had it done and then we loose poured it out into the pan, pressing it down into biscuit form with our fingers.
Then we painted the biscuit with about two tablespoons of olive oil and then pressed the floral decoration into the biscuit. I used onions, stemming out of the garlic pesto grass, although they didn’t really take the wild golden grass colour I was hoping for they still look cool. I used garlic scapes for the wildflower stems and the leaves are olives and homegrown celery leaves. The flowers are made from a combination of sweet cherry peppers and sliced tomatoes.
I wasn’t too optimistic when I put it in the oven, because it looked like this…
I slathered the baked biscuit in butter and it’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. If I were to make this recipe using this flour again, though, I would cover the whole top of it with the thinly sliced tomatoes, because that’s the part where the biscuit tastes best!
I hope you take up my little Isolation challenge and post your own version of Isolation Focaccia.
If you do, take a picture and post it here on the blog, tweet it to us on twitter; Greg is at https://twitter.com/Peppermaster and I am at https://twitter.com/Pepperfire or you can post it to our Facebook page!
Have fun! And enjoy your isolation!
And hey! If you have any fun ideas for things people can do over the next few weeks with things they find at home, drop us a line.
If by chance you missed the original challenge blog and recipes, you can find those by clicking on this link.