Sunday, 9 October 2011


After an exceptionally busy work week, I'm glad to retreat home to Chilli Crab Kitchen. This is my happy space.  In here I think happy thoughts and do only the things that I enjoy most.

Serena brought home a beautiful bottle of olive oil while vacationing in Italy.  I made focaccia from a recipe found inside 面包新语, a book written by Kyoto-born pastry chef Nishikawa (西川功晃).

As with all bread dough, I started by beating the crap out of it (for about 6 minutes).  When I attempted to release it from the mixing bowl onto the countertop the dough, as if afraid of further abuse, clung on for dear life and refused to leave the bottom of the bowl!  And when I tried to coax it into letting go  I got dough stuck to the spatula, my fingers, and then the countertop.  I was like King Midas except everything I touched turned into dough, not gold.  I was horrified, “Oh no! There’s too much water!  I'm in such trouble now."   Fortunately it cooperated beautifully after the first proof. It wasn't long before the entire kitchen was filled with the heady scent of herbs and olive oil.

The focaccia came out of the oven just in time for dinner and the three of us had a simple meal of ham and cheese sandwiches. Dad was curious what expensive, high-end flour I splurged my money on this time but the secret is to use a mix of all-purpose flour and cake flour in equal proportions.  The dough was very sticky in the beginning but with a pair of lightly floured hands and a little patience, it all worked out well.

The results are not to my liking.  This one is a perfect golden brown, yet its centre is dry.

This one looks pale but it isn't uncooked.

Love the crumb structure though.

Still a long way from perfection.  Didn't do the nice olive oil justice at all. *disappoint!*

Bread dough: 250 grams all-purpose flour, 250 grams cake flour, 5 grams salt, 7 grams instant yeast, 4 grams dried oregano, 50 grams olive oil, 75 ml milk, 300 ml water


Maki said...

It looks very nice and I can even smell herbs and the steaming golden focaccia :-)

Fun said...

Hi Maki, it is really worthwhile to use a good olive oil! Thanks for your continuous support on a blog that no one seems to read! :D