If you missed the previous announcement, I am writing a Christmas story as part of a shared world with a bunch of other authors.
When we were planning it out, someone suggested a bakery called Ginger's Breads run by a ginger-haired baker. You better believe I snapped that up immediately.
Baking? Ginger guys? I am all over that!
This week, I sent the first couple of chapters to my alpha reader and I got back several messages about the baked goods. She (nicely) yelled at me for making her hungry. Whoops.
I love to bake in general but this book is totally giving me the urge to bake bread specifically. Fall and winter are always the perfect times to do that so I'm really looking forward to that.
A few weeks ago I made some delicious focaccia bread. It's kinda similar to pizza dough and baked in a flatter sheet pan or rectangular cake pan (depending on how thick you want to make it) and it's soft and just a little crispy around the edges from the olive oil.
I make a super simple olive oil and sea salt version semi-regularly but there are a million variations. You can add herbs, garlic cloves, vegetables, cheese, etc.
This is the recipe I use. It's called shockingly easy focaccia for a reason. You pretty much mix it and bake it. If you've never made bread it's a PERFECT starting point.
That being said, you definitely have to plan ahead because it has a very long rise time.
If you read the recipe and feel overwhelmed that it has a lot of steps, don't panic. There are even little video clips to show you how to do it.
And you don't have to know any fancy techniques or anything. If you start the day ahead and let it rise in the refrigerator it's super, super easy. No kneading required!
I feel like it's a perfect weekend recipe. Mix it up on Saturday, bake it on Sunday, and enjoy it with some soup.
I ate it with corn chowder recently but I can also say from personal experience that it's delicious with tomato soup or minestrone soup. I am not sure there's any soup it would be bad with though.
If you make the thicker version in a cake pan, it's also fabulous cut in half and stuffed with sandwich filling (especially things like tomato and pesto or Italian meats and cheeses).
Have you ever made it? Do you like eating it? Would you try baking it? I'd love to know what you think.
And I have a feeling I am going to be doing a lot of baking in the near future while I wrote Joel's story!
Sorry (not sorry) if I make you hungry in the process!