Good morning! So this weekend just gone was mostly spent at home cooking and baking. It’s rare that we actually have a weekend totally at home (I didn’t leave the house for two whole days), but when we do, food and the making of it tend to be on the agenda!
Whilst I would love to claim this delicious beaut (above) as my own, it was actually made with Adam’s fair hands. Not too shabby for a first attempt at making bread from scratch! We usually use our breadmaker, but decided to try it the old-fashioned way! The homemade pesto is also delicious, and something Adam makes regularly for us and the children to have with pasta. Feel privileged that he is willing to share his recipe with you! 😉 This recipe serves 6, so is perfect as a summer ‘sharer’ for when you have friends over.
You will need…
For the bread:
- 450g strong, plain white flour
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 300ml warm water
For the pesto:
- 50g pine nuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 generous handfuls of basil leaves
- 1 generous handful of Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (depending on how moist you like your pesto!)
- 300g cherry tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- a handful of fresh basil leaves
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, stir in the yeast and add salt. Make a ‘well’ in the middle, pour in 3 tablespoons of the oil and the water and mix everything together well with a wooden spoon. Transfer mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for roughly an hour until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
- Oil a baking tray measuring 40 x 40cm.
- ‘Knock back’ the dough and place onto an oiled tray. Stretch into a shape no more than 1cm thick. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. Now heat the oven to 230 degrees c/ 450 degree F/ Gas mark 8.
- In a small bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Once the 20 minutes are up, brush the stretched dough with the water and oil mixture and then move the tray to the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, start preparing your topping. First, quarter the cherry tomatoes. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt, the set aside for 10 minutes to allow any excess water the drain off. This really bring the flavour of the tomatoes out (little tip here!).
- To make the pesto, put all the ingredients listed above together in a blender/food processor and mix well. Add more oil if preferred.
- Once the tomatoes are ready, place in a bowl with the fresh basil and the pesto. Mix well. Now the focaccia should be ready: remove it from the oven and cover liberally with the tomato and pesto mix. Serve immediately.