Now that I have had my first go at bread, I am becoming well and truly addicted. By the time the weekend comes around, I have planned my next bake. As I was searching for a recipe this week, I read this in Leith’s Baking Bible:
“Frequently, making a successful loaf ignites a passion for bread-making and it becomes part of the pattern of life, if only to recapture the unequalled smell and intense pleasure of eating a freshly-baked loaf of bread.”
I couldn’t have found a more perfect way to describe it if I tried. I never thought I would be the type of person who cuts into freshly baked bread and examines the air pockets or taps the bottom of a loaf to see if it sounds hollow but that is the person I have become. I love everything about it and I just can’t stop.
So for my next bake it had to be rosemary and sea salt focaccia. This is my absolute favourite bread. The crisp golden crust, soft springy centre, deep rosemary flavour and crunchy sea salt flakes on top. This bread together some rich tomato meatballs and a large glass of red wine is the ultimate savoury indulgence for me. Being the kind of girl who never forgets to treat herself, I went for it.
The recipe for the meatballs is available here. The recipe for the bread came from Leiths Baking Bible. Unlike other recipes I have seen for this type of focaccia, the rosemary is placed in the olive oil and left to infuse while the dough is made. A sprig of rosemary is then placed under the dough on the baking tray and the rosemary olive oil is drizzled over the dough before being placed in the oven to create an even more intense flavour. The smell of rosemary radiates from the oven as it bakes. You couldn’t ask for anything better.
There is only one rule with this bread: you have to eat this bread while it is still warm. I drizzle it with some extra more olive oil before serving to give it an irresistible gloss. It is the perfect accompaniment to this dish as there is nothing better on earth for soaking up luscious amounts of sauce. It would be equally as delicious served with drinks and a dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.
As I sit in absolute bliss after my delicious meal, my adventure with bread continues so until next time…