It is amazing what social media can do for a business or a friendship in todays day and age. I have a twitter account where I post about my food and photos of restaurants that I have visited. Through my twitter account I met Robert Swift who owns an amazing bakery “Swift Bakery” in Ludlow, England. Believe it or not, I created a friendship all the way from England and I am so humbled and grateful as Robert has been such a kind twitter friend, always checking in with me and of course he favorites my tweets :).
While I have not yet visited Swift Bakery, I can see the passion that Robert has from his posts…every tweet he posts I want to eat…his photos look amazing! When Robert posted that he wrote a book on baking bread, “Born & Bread” (cute title), I knew I had to get a copy and boy was I glad I did. In reading the book I have learned many things about bread, all about glutens, the “water method” and traditional bread making. There are so many recipes in his book that I would love to make and share with my bloggers, so I thought I’d start out with a simple recipe and made focaccia bread. I had most of the ingredients needed for the focaccia recipe except for the “00” flour, I also have a scale at home so I was able to use that to measure the ingredients, in England they use the metric system. I did measure out the ingredients to cups and teaspoons but if you have a scale, I would recommend using that and following his recipe and just know I did my best to convert the recipe.
There is nothing complex about this recipe, all you need is time as Robert allows the dough to rest 3 times, resting the dough allows the gluten to form. For Robert’s recipe I would have needed 5 hours of resting time and because I don’t have that kind of time, I changed the recipe a little to accommodate my schedule, outside of that, I followed the recipe 100%.
I added the water and yeast together
I added the flour and mixed until it was all incorporated, this is a wet starter
I covered it and let it rest for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature
I added the durum flour, salt water and olive oil, I mixed it until the dough was still sticky and pulled away from the sides.
I placed the dough on a floured work bench and kneaded it for about 3-5 minutes. I then placed a little oil in a plastic bag
put the dough inside and placed it in my refrigerator
I removed the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit in the plastic bag for about 20-30 minutes. Then I pressed the dough onto a baking pan that was lightly oiled and stretched the dough out to all the corners, until the surface of the pan was covered, I let it rise for about 30 minutes.
Using my finger tips I pressed down leaving dimples and added some of my favorite toppings.
Baked it in my oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes
I have to thank Robert from Swift Bakery for this amazing bread recipe as it came out amazing! While I may not have had all the proper ingredients or time, I made it work and so can you!!!! I tried to measure out the ingredients to cups and teaspoons but if you have a scale, I would encourage you to use the scale and follow the recipe as was written for ingredients.
Robert, I hope you do not mind that I changed the method of how to make this focaccia bread. It was delicious Robert and I thank you for sharing your recipe with the world, much success to you and your family!!!!
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Thank you again ~ Patty Limatola-Tanenbaum