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    Monday, 7 November 2016


    Is there anything more satisfying or grown up than knowing that you've baked your own loaf of bread?

    That's surely the point in life when you know that you've got your shit together, when your up in the kitchen baking your own bread on a Saturday morning rather than dying from a hangover?

    Now I've been pretty open in the past about the fact that I am no baker. I don't really have the patience for all the weighing of ingredients and the kneeding and the proving and all the long, time-involved steps it takes - but after an afternoon being shown how by the pros...I've realised how satisfing it all is.
    So where did this amazing revalation take place? Down at the Jamie Oliver Cookery School in Westfield no less, where I'd been invited for a special Autumnal baking class with Hotpoint.

    Hotpoint are the people who make a fab range of kitchen-appliances including the essential tool for baking bread: ovens.

    After consulting with their customers, they found the number one thing which irrated them was their oven not having an even cooking tempreture throughout - you know how annoying it is when you get burnt edges and uncooked centres right?

    Well Hotpoint listened and they've come up with a new mutli-flow technology which ensures all their ovens remain at a steady heat through-out, no matter which part of the oven you're using and that's exactly what we were test-driving on the day.

    It was a fab afternoon learning how to make all the different doughs but my favourite recipe had to be the foccacia so of course I snaffled you the recipe!

    If you fancy turning all Nigella and making your very own Rosemary Focaccia, then grab your pinny and follow the simple recipe below!

    What you'll need
    325g strong bread flour
    150g Italian tipo “00” flour
    200ml tepid water
    65ml extra virgin olive oil
    15g fresh yeast
    Vegetable oil
    1 sprig of rosemary

    What you'll need to do
    1. Combine the bread flour, 00 flour, yeast, water, olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt in a mixing bowl, combine till it forms a dough then tip onto a floured work-top and and knead gently for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth.
    2. Pop back into your mixing bowl and cover with a tea-towel, leaving to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
    3. While the dough is rising, prepare a baking tray by lightly oiling the base and sides with vegetable oil.
    4. Transfer the dough to the baking tray. Spread out evenly using the palm of your hands and gently expel the air from the dough, then rub 15ml of extra virgin olive oil over the surface of the dough using your fingertips.
    5. ‘Dimple’ the dough ensuring that you don’t press all the way through to the base. Rip up your rosemary leaves and poke them gently into the bread.
    6. Cover the dough again and leave to rest for a further 20 to 40 minutes, or until is has doubled in size.
    7. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC/410ºF/Gas 6.
    8. Place the baking tray in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Once cooked, carefully remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil.
    Don't forget to thank me when your kitchen is smelling like freshly-made bread and you're feeling totally in control of your life. You're welcome!

    * I was invited to take part in the masterclass
    Some photos in the post were taken by the event photographer
    Jamie's Italian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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