Baking bread is addictive. Every bread book says so. I don’t know what it is about, but even though bread is fussy and doesn’t always turn out as it should it’s the most satisfying of all bakes.
I bought lately a few cookbooks. Apparently nature needs balance, so even if I restricted myself from buying new cookbooks for a few month I have a feeling that a number of cookbooks at the end will be the same, as I easily catch up with following months. One of my new treasures is Brilliant bread by James Morton. The reviews I’ve read were amazing, they said it’s the best bread book ever. I have to agree, but I don’t have a big bread book collection.
James’s book is warm and straightforward, his voice is so natural, like you would have chat with him in a kitchen. Photos are great and where needed there are step-by-step photo tutorial. The book covers all the basics from what ingredients you should use and why, how to knead the dough, how to shape it, how to make sourdough, basically everything you should know about bread. Did I say bread too many times?
I’m still baking my way through the first chapter of basics bread, the basic white bread is really good, crusty rolls turned out ok, even though almost all bread rolls I bake are heavy like rocks (it must be bad karma or something), pizza was delicious, wholemeal bread is just proving and focaccia got approval from Tomek’s Italian friend.
This focaccia is soft and tasty, it has crumb that makes me happy, it looks like a proper focaccia and was pretty easy to make. It takes some time to make it, but most of it you spend just waiting.
Adapted from Brilliant Bread by James Morton Total time 3 hours, time spent in the kitchen 5-10 minutes For 33×20cm pan
- 50g olive oil, extra for drizzling
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 500g strong white flour
- 10g salt
- 7g fast-action yeast
- 400g tepid water
- a handful of green olives, chopped
- leaves from a few thyme sprigs
- sea salt for sprinkling