With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, how about showing your loved one how much you care by making them their own special Valentine’s Focaccia Bread Art. Most recipes for bread can be quite time-consuming so I’ve created a recipe where you can make your bread quickly and easily.
Easy Focaccia Bread Art
225g Strong Plain Flour
1x7g Sachet of Easy Blend Yeast
50ml Olive Oil
Chopped, sliced or whole vegetable toppings to decorate your bread with such as tomatoes, onions, carrots, asparagus, spring onions, fresh or frozen peas, tinned sweetcorn, fresh herbs like rosemary or basil, courgettes, mushrooms, peppers and any leftover veg.
1. Preheat the oven to 230⁰C (210⁰C Fan) or Gas Mark 8.
2. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the sachet of yeast.
3. Measure 150ml of warm water. Add the water to the mixture a tablespoon at a time and mix using a fork. You might not need all of the water as you don’t want it to be too wet or sticky.
4. Bring the dough together into a ball using your hands (it helps if you rub a bit of flour onto your hands first to stop it sticking)
5. Dust your work surface lightly with flour and knead the dough until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes)
6. Leave to rise for 5 minutes
7. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to the size of a dinner plate. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can push and flatten the dough to the right size with your hands. Shape into a heart shape.
8. Put onto a baking tray and decorate your bread with your chosen vegetables.
9. Use a pastry brush to brush the remaining oil over your bread and vegetables. If you don’t have a pastry brush, you can drizzle the oil instead.
10. Place in the oven for 15 minutes until the bread is golden brown.
When you are choosing the vegetables to use, you can choose whatever you have at home. They can be leftovers, seasonal vegetables that you have bought or vegetables or herbs that you have grown yourself. Vegetables in season taste great and can be cheaper too so look out for these.
Making the Focaccia bread is great fun. You can be as creative as you like with your bread art. There are no limits to what you can make!
A note about salt
Most bread recipes contain salt for flavour and to help strengthen the bread. As this is a simple recipe, it is not necessary to add salt unless you want to (only ½ tsp). The strong flavour of the vegetables means that salt is not needed for flavour and the bread has a great texture without it. If you want to add extra flavour, sprinkle with herbs or chilli flakes.