Ria's Collection: FOCCACIA CAPRESE

Friday, January 24, 2014


Foccacia Caprese
Every time I enroll myself for a challenge of any sort, I end up missing it. I usually don't make any resolutions as the new year rolls in, but this time, at the back of my mind, I did make a resolution to not to give up on something that I have started. It could be anything from exercising to cooking. Sometime half way through last year, I came across a bread baking group on Facebook and wanted to join them to bake a bread every month. Since I was very late to join, I waited patiently till they opened up the group to welcome new members.
For this month, we all had to make a Foccacia. I love a good foccacia sandwich. That bread always called my name whenever we went out to eat. It's soft and very flavourful.
Foccacia Caprese
This recipe is a bomb! I did exactly what it called for but I am sure next time I'll skip the toppings and just make the bread with the herb oil. It is so wonderfully fragrant and gives such a subtle yet wonderful flavour for the whole bread, slice after slice.
Breads are a carb heaven and I am so not guilty about eating it. Back home, Amma,myself and Ritchie kuttan would polish off loaves of bread especially when they are hot and right from the oven. Speaking of home, we have booked our tickets for our yearly India trip and as always, I am planning on conducting a few baking classes in Kannur. If you are interested, watch out this space for more details. I am planning on something different this time.
Foccacia Caprese

We are leaving for New York on Saturday for a week and I am planning on hitting some bakeries that I always wanted to visit and catch up with friends and cousins. Once we get back, there's so much to plan for February because our anniversary is coming up and there are plenty of other cakes to bake! I really cannot wait  for it to be February! How is your 2014? Mine seems to be busy already and I am not complaining a bit!
WKTB Logo Jan '14
Foccacia Caprese Original recipe by Kitchen Whisperer
Adapted by Aparna
Makes 2 medium sized Foccacia
Serves 4-6 people

For the bread:
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour (All purpose will also work)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 olive oil (regular also works)
1 - 11/2 cups warm water
A little more olive oil for brushing the dough

For the topping:
4-5 roma tomatoes (depends on the size, I used just one)
1 small ball of fresh mozzarella cheese,cut into 1/4inch slices
1/2 cup fresh basil,cut into thin strips

For the herb oil:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
Salt to taste

Fresh basil for garnishing

Herb oil : Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Bread: Mix together all the ingredients though olive oil and then add in the warm water and form a soft elastic dough that is just short of sticky. Take the dough out, oil the bowl with some extra olive oil, put the dough ball back in and coat it by turning the dough a couple of times. Cover and let rise until doubled,about an hour.
Pre heat the oven to 210C / 400F. Once it is risen, take the dough out and divide into two. Place them on a cookie sheet and press it out gently into a rectangle of 1 inch thickness.Let it rise for 20 mins. Slightly oil your fingers and poke into the dough at equal intervals to create a dimpled effect. Brush the top of the bread with the herb oil, generously. Bake for 18-20 mins or until golden brown.
Take the bread out and increase the baking temperature to 230C/ 450F. Brush the bread with some herb oil and top it with cheese and tomatoes. Lightly drizzle the remaining herb oil over it and let it bake until the cheese has just melted. Garnish with basil leaves and serve warm.
I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious this bread is! We loved it so much that I regretted for not making more.I can actually have this for a meal,even though I made some Cream of Mushroom Soup with it.Ian loved this bread,so it was a winner in every aspect!
If only God made Potatoes, Bread & Desserts the most nutritious thing on Earth! :)


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