Floral Garlic and Thyme Focaccia

The national lockdown has inspired quite a number of food trends *que in dalgona coffee* and I can bet we’ve seen more than our fair share of banana bread. We have been in doors for more than 42 days, it has given us ample time to try our hands at bread making. And try 30 different versions of banana bread while we’re at it.



My favourite food trend has to be floral breads. These are the epitome of food art and the first time I was tagged on posts by my friends, I thought ‘no ways! My hands are meant for abstract food’ but I was tagged more than enough so I decided to make a floral tart at first.

Not knowing that a few weeks later I would be creating my version of floral bread for the national newspaper Sunday Times. I had the honour of celebrating my late grandmother whom I believe I inherited the love of cooking from.

I used thyme from the garden but you are welcome to use rosemary or basil. I also used a cast iron pot to bake my bread to achieve that perfect circle but you can use a normal baking tray or a rectangular baking tray. Whichever can allow room for the dough to rise.

My tips for achieving those air pockets in the focaccia are as follows:

*Allow it to rise longer than usual. If not overnight in the fridge than an hour or more at room temperature.

*When you dimple the bread, ensure your fingertips don’t go further than an inch into the bread.

*Drizzle oil when you have dimpled the dough as it will create brown patches during the baking phase.

INGREDIENTS

*2 cups flour

* 2 spoons olive oil and little more to drizzle at the end

*2 tsp sugar

*2 tsp chopped thyme

*2 chopped garlic cloves

*2 tsp yeast

* ½ cup warm water

FOR THE FLORAL TOPPING (optional)

*red onions

*patty pennies

*radishes

*hemp seeds

*green beans

*cherry tomatoes

*carrots

*peasolives

*green pepper

*pepper dews (whole)

*sunflower seeds

*sesame seeds

*olive oil

*turmeric OR 3 tsps melted vegan butter and 2 tsps pink salt.

METHOD

1.Sift all your dry ingredients and mix then add thyme and garlic.

2.Create a well in the centre and pour in water and oil and knead the dough for 10 minutes.

3.Leave to rise for an hour or overnight and in the meantime, grease your cast iron pot or oven tray and place in the oven on low heat so that it is hot and ready for the dough.

4.After dough is risen roll it out onto the pot or tray and leave to rise again for an hour.

5.When ready, form dimples in the dough with your fingers, all over the dough and drizzle olive oil.

6.Lightly sprinkle turmeric and add your toppings.

7.Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes on 180 °

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