To master breadmaking, I suggest you start by perfecting focaccia – it’s easy to make and a crowd-pleaser.
Makes 1 large slab
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
500g strong/high grade flour
¼ cup olive oil plus extra
Small handful of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon sea salt
- In a large bowl, dissolve honey in warm water then sprinkle yeast granules over top. Cover and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes, until foamy.
- Stir in the flour with a butter knife until you have a scraggy dough. Turn it out of the bowl just long enough to pour olive oil into the bowl and swirl it around, to grease the surface. Plop dough back in, cover, and place in fridge overnight. It will double in size.
- In the morning, leave dough to sit at room temperature for one hour.
- Heat oven to 220°C. Oil a shallow tray with olive oil. Turn dough onto oiled tray and stretch out to fit the tray – a 20x30cm rectangle or thereabouts. Press your fingertips into the dough to dimple it. Sprinkle rosemary and sea salt over top and leave to puff up – about 20 minutes – before drizzling with olive oil.
- Bake bread for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
The most useful advice I was given about breadmaking was to aim for a very sticky dough and leave it to rise overnight.