Saturday, 8 October 2011


I have enjoyed watching the 'Great British Bake Off' on television, and Jo Wheatley was a worthy winner and one of my favourites from the start.  Mind you Mary Ann, and Holly and Janet were all fantastic bakers too.  All these last four were so good, although in different ways, that it was impossible to tell who would get it until the last minute.  Now I have to say that I rarely watch TV without doing something else, like ironing, sewing, or at the moment crocheting, but with this programme I have sat down every time and although I may have some work on my lap, I haven't actually got very far with it.  So many delicious recipes you always end up rather peckish!

Someone thought a lap wrapped in the cosy patchwork quilt too good an opportunity to miss!
Now the Bake Off is over but this week we were treated to a Masterclass from Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. I liked Mary's way of rolling the pastry for her lemon tart straight onto the base from the loose-bottomed tin, then folding the edges loosely in so you can lift the base into the tin, an excellent idea.  Having then raised the edges up and pressed gently into place, it was interesting too how she baked it blind and then cut the surplus off so that it didn't shrink whilst baking.  I can see that I shall have to try this.

However, I know you are all wondering what this has to do with the title of this post - 'Disaster?'  Well, in the Masterclass Paul made Focaccia bread and I have to say it was quite different from mine, sshh, don't tell him, mine always starts in the bread machine!  Anyway, as I went to make my normal Focaccia this morning I suddenly had a moment of madness and decided to alter the recipe.  After all I remembered (have to say that I didn't check) that Paul had used almost equal quantities of flour to water and 2 teaspoons of salt.  My recipe has 3 cups of flour but I did think that 3 cups of water would be a bit excessive and after all the machine does only work with a certain amount of ingredients.  I started with all the flour in, and the normal one cup of water then whilst the machine did the mixing I very, very, slowly added more water.  I chickened out at an extra 3/4 of a cup!  The mix was definitely very wet!  After the normal dough making cycle look what I got!

Glad I remembered that Paul oiled his worktop rather than using flour! Sticky doesn't begin to descibe it!

How to knead this?  I had a go then gave up and scooped it onto the baking tray.  A further proving and then you are supposed to poke dimples into the top - ha, ha, totally impossible.  I did wonder whether it was worth baking but decided there was nothing to lose but didn't bother drizzling olive oil and sprinkling sea salt on.

Here it is, fresh out of the oven.  Doesn't look too bad from the top but...

Ah, now you see what I was thinking with 'disaster'.  My focaccia is much higher than this.  However, when I managed to prise it out of the oiled tin and cut it, I have to say it did have Paul's required uneven air holes in it, and it tasted alright too, served with carrot soup for lunch.

Having sat at the computer I looked up Paul's recipe and found he didn't use sugar whereas I added a teaspoon as in my usual recipe.  Perhaps I'll have to try that next time.


  1. Your post made me think of the restuarant I would like to visit one day where there is no light, you eat in darkness - like a blind person - and enjoy the food with senses other than sight - your bread would most likely have been eaten in that restuarant without criticism as it tasted good and the only fault in your eyes was the appearance!

  2. You live and learn and this actually wasn't a disaster after all was it? Looks good to me especially with the soup.

  3. haha this is hilarious sue. Far to eager.Was it edible, it looks more like a cake x