This baking event was a long time in the planning. Little Missy and I had been sent a Doodle Bread kit to try out before Christmas and, after watching the super-speedy how to video online, we were dying to try it out. The cold weather, however, combined with a non-centrally heated cottage meant ridiculously slow bread rising times. This is why we normally use the bread machine. But, with the recent arrival of warmer days, we decided to get stuck in.
Looking at Sunday’s entry about flatbreads and foccacia, I just realised what was missing – I forgot to write up my foccacia recipe! What I give here is just the basic recipe but there are countless variations. You can always add different herbs or some crushed garlic, top the dough with caramelised onions or roasted peppers or, indeed, stuff it with cheese and bacon for a ready-made sandwich.
Even though I haven’t been mentioning the Breadmaker very much recently, it does get a regular workout. Every so often we’re out of Brown Soda Bread and it’s just too much hard work to go down to the shop so I just throw ingredients into the Breadmaker bowl and it makes one of its little square loaves – which are, incidentally, the perfect size for the toaster.
New Zealand baker Dean Brettschneider was one of the people that I encountered at the recent Savour New Zealand in Christchurch. Together with Lorraine Jacobs, a Cuisine food editor, he has recently published Taste, the third in a series of quality books on baking. At Savour New Zealand, when not signing stacks of Taste and his other books, he gave an eagerly anticipated class called Kneading the Dough in which he made a loaf of my favourite sourdough bread.