easy spelt focaccia & a vegetable garden

13th June 2017

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I make this focaccia every Sunday as an accompaniment to our traditional pasta night.  I mix the dough in the morning and leave it covered on the side for a full day, the extra fermentation adds flavour to the bread.  You can also make it days before, and store in the refrigerator after the first rise, the dough develops a more complex flavour, and you can pull part of it out to make dinner – just be sure it has time to come to room temperature before shaping and continue with the recipe.

I usually make one large focaccia but since our move a month ago, I have a temporary small oven that fits two narrow trays – I make two oblong focaccia.

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Quality of Food

‘A very natural lifestyle in which we could collect fresh vegetables every day would be even more ideal, however. Growing a small garden can serve that purpose to some degree. There are also many other benefits one may experience from having a small garden. For example, one may gain beneficial exercise, as well as deep satisfaction in doing garden work. If done in a measured and relaxed way, it may lead to a calm and quiet mind.’ 

~ Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois – The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

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easy spelt focaccia

Makes 1 rectangular or 2 small focaccia. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce.

‘You can top the focaccia with almost anything: a liberal pouring of oil and a dusting of salt, a handful of fresh herbs, olives or sautéed vegetables, or a flavourful tomato sauce. However, you plan to top your focaccia, before cooking pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top – especially around the edges – for a crunchy golden crust’.

ingredients 

1¼ cups warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

tsp sugar

1 cup/120g whole-spelt flour; plus additional for kneading

2½ cups/320g white spelt flour/all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 Tbsp olive oil + ¼ cup (divided) for drizzling over the top

herbs, spices, or other toppings of choice

preparation 

1.  Lightly rub a large bowl with olive oil. Set aside.

2.  Add 1¼ cups warm water, yeast, and sugar to another bowl. Stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes.  (If it doesn’t, it may be inactive; throw it out and start again.)

3.  Add the flours, salt, and 2 Tablespoons olive oil and mix to combine to form a sticky dough.

4.  Knead by hand, turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and silky.

Or, to use a food mixer, fit the dough hook and add the water, yeast, and sugar to the mixer bowl, stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until evenly combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.

5.  The first rise, put the dough into the oiled bowl, turning it so that the top of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and leave for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

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6.  Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil.

7.  The second rise, place the dough on the baking sheet or pan, and stretch the dough out with your hands (it helps to oil your hands) into your desired shape, and dimple it with your fingers. Cover with an oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel and leave to rise for 1 hour.

8.  Preheat to 200C/400F.

9.  After the dough has completed its second rise and has puffed up on the sheet, drizzle with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt, herbs or spices, or toppings of your choice.

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10.  Bake for 22  – 25 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil while still hot from the oven.  Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Serve it with your favourite pasta or top it with mashed avocado, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper, fennel and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and salt.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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