The Bread Lord is pleased.
Here is proof.
I’m not going to tell you that this was easy. It was however, completely achievable once I was determined to make it work.
My first attempt was a miserable failure. I know now that it was because I used bad yeast.
So that’s my first nugget of advice. Buy good yeast. I used Tesco’s dry active yeast.
Once you mix the yeast in warm water, it will smell. A rather unpleasant odour. But this will please you, because it’s an indication you’re on the right track. This is what it should look like.
Once the dough is mixed you’ll put it in a bright-orange bowl, cover it and leave it to rise.
Then you will go about your business. You will look like a normal person during this time (at least to other people), but only you will know the fervent prayers you will be silently praying for the dough to rise.
Then you will remove the cloth and find this.
You will proceed to do a merry dance to the song Glad you came.
Once that’s out of your system you will return to the dough, bash the air out of it, do a few other things and put it in the oven looking like this.
This is what will emerge.
You will look at it skeptically and wonder why it isn’t more golden-brown.
You’ll feel a bit sad. Try not to be. Please. You’ll see why.
Once the bread is cool, you will cut into it. And marvel in your greatness.
Make this bread and feel powerful.
Just not as powerful as the Bread Lord.
He’s a rockstar. (Said with utter respect, that.)
Coriander and Garlic Focaccia
Recipe adapted from: Baking step by step
Prep time: 30 mins + rising and proving time
Cook time: 20-25 mins
Eat this with: A drizzle of olive oil
1 tbsp dry active yeast or a 7 g pack of dry active yeast
425 g plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
a few sprigs of fresh coriander, chopped finely and some leaves reserved
1 tsp pepper
90 ml olive oil, plus more for greasing
10-12 cloves garlic, chopped
1. In a small bowl, put in the yeast and top with 4 tablespoons of warm water (not too hot). Stir once to dissolve and leave for 5 minutes.
2. In the meantime, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the chopped coriander, pepper, 4 tablespoons of olive oil (keep the rest aside), and 240 ml lukewarm water. Add the yeast mixture. Mix all this together gently until you have a sticky dough.
3. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and knead the dough on it for about 10 minutes. This really requires some muscle strength!
4. Take a clean bowl, grease the inside with oil and put the dough in. Cover the bowl with a damp muslin cloth and leave in a warm place for about one and a half hours.
5. When you remove the cloth, the dough should have doubled in size. Place it on a floured surface again and knock the air out of it by kneading. Leave it on the surface, covered with a dry cloth for a few minutes.
6. Grease a baking tray and place the dough on the tray. Gently push it all over the tray, reaching the corners and trying to create an even layer. This may be a bit difficult because it is a sticky dough, but if you do it slowly it will work. Cover the tray with a dry cloth and leave in a warm place for about half an hour for the second rise.
7. Preheat the oven to 200º C. Arrange the coriander leaves on top of the dough and sprinkle the garlic pieces over. Poke dimples in the dough with your finger, and then spoon the rest of the oil all over the dough. Finish with a scatter of salt.
8. Place in the upper shelf of the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy with some olive oil drizzled over.