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Homemade bread and focaccia

Preparing homemade bread and focaccia for a picnic

Who’s in the mood for an al fresco picnic on a glorious spring day alongside family or friends? If you’re stuck for ideas on what to take with you on your next picnic, why not choose to make your own homemade fragrant bread to be filled with exquisite local delicacies? Practical to take with you in a backpack, easy to make and decidedly tasty, everybody enjoys a good sandwich.

The extra trick: baking with the addition of steam

We’re going to suggest a simple trick to obtain a fragrant and flavoursome dough just like that purchased from your local bakery: the secret lies in baking with the addition of steam. Thanks to an innovative oven such as our Candy Smart Steam, you can achieve surprising results! Homemade bread baked to perfection thanks to the dual cooking system, which with the simple pressing of a button, combines traditional baking with a touch of steam, guaranteeing a truly unique fragrance.

Three homemade bread doughs ideal for picnics

Here's three recipes to try today to make delicious homemade bread with the help of the Smart Steam function.

Potato focaccia

An Italian culinary classic: you can never go wrong with potato focaccia!

This recipe makes enough dough to serve 4-6 people; when it comes to the filling, let your imagination run wild! If you prefer a more classic filling, provola and ham make for a delicious sandwich; if instead you would like to provide your focaccia with an additional touch of freshness, you could always try filling it with buffalo mozzarella and Torpedino or yellow date tomatoes.

Ingredients:

• 500 g flour;

• 10 g beer yeast;

• 1 medium-sized potato;

• 250 g slightly tepid water;

• Olive oil to taste;

• Coarse iodised salt;

• 15 g salt.

Method:

Firstly, boil the potato until al dente, peel and mash it using a potato ricer. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the 200g of tepid water in addition to the salt, potato and two tablespoons of oil. Contemporarily, dissolve the yeast in the remaining water. Start to knead the dough, adding the yeast once the mixture is sufficiently smooth. Knead the dough energetically and finally leave to prove.

Use your hands to stretch the dough out to fit your baking tray and generously brush the surface with an emulsion of water and olive oil, before dusting with a few pinches of course salt. At this point, leave to prove for an additional 45 minutes in a warm place.

Set the oven to 220° and switch on the fan. Pour 100 ml water into the base of the oven and press the Steam button. Place the dough in the oven and allow to cook for approximately 20 minutes, until the surface of the focaccia is golden.

Herby bread loaf

Enormously appetising owing to the aromatic herbs in the dough, this loaf is simple to make, even if the preparation is somewhat lengthy. For this reason, we recommend preparing it the day before, considering that it keeps perfectly for 2-3 days if covered with a cotton tea towel. So, how do we achieve the perfect herby bread loaf? A filling of fresh cheese (such as brie or crescenza) and grilled vegetables is delicate and also suitable for vegetarians, while those who love more decisive flavours may wish to opt for cured loin of pork and mushroom purée. Let’s take a look at how it’s prepared.

Ingredients:

• 250 g flour;

• 250 g re-ground durum wheat semolina flour;

• 0.5 g beer yeast;

• 15 g fine salt;

• 1 tablespoon of aromatic herb blend, including herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage or marjoram; • 1 teaspoon sugar or malt;

• 320 g water at room temperature.

Method:

Mix the two types of flour, herbs, salt and sugar (or malt) together in a bowl. Then, gradually add the yeast that has been previously dissolved in approximately 20 g water. Leave to rest for 15 minutes. Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough for 15 seconds using the three-fold technique, i.e. folding the outer edges inwards. Repeat this process four times, allowing 5 minutes between each kneading session and the next. Allow to prove.

Once the dough has doubled in size, knead again, trying however not to overwork it. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a cotton tea towel and leave to prove for at least three hours (or overnight if you will be putting the loaf in the fridge).

Once risen, shape the dough to create your loaf and place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper. At this point, make a number of diagonal cuts in the surface, dust the loaf with flour and leave to rest for approximately one hour.

Pour 300 ml water into the base of the oven, set the oven to 220° in static mode and press the Steam button. After 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 200° and allow to cook for 45 minutes, until golden. The final core temperature must be around 100°C.

Butter bun with poppy seeds

The final recipe makes the most delicious butter buns with poppy seeds, perfect for foodies. These buns are great filled with smoked salmon and robiola cheese, or even winter salami or speck and artichoke.

Ingredients:

• 320 g manitoba flour;

• 140 g butter;

• 70 g whole milk;

• 25 g fresh yeast;

• 4 eggs;

• 50 g sugar;

• 6 g salt;

• Poppy seeds to taste.

Method:

Place the sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the slightly tepid milk and add 3 lightly beaten eggs. Blend the mixture as you gradually pour the content into the bowl with the flour. Knead the dough on a work surface so that it remains fairly moist before leaving it to rest for a few minutes. Knead for an additional 5 minutes and then continue kneading using the three-fold technique, which must be done a total of six times, allowing 5 minutes between one kneading session and the next.

Add the diced butter, which has been kept at room temperature, and blend the mixture, adding a dusting of flour to make it more elastic if required. After allowing it to rest for 5 minutes, place the dough in a bowl, dust with flour and cover with a tea towel. Now, allow to prove in the fridge until the dough has doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 10 parts, shape into balls and leave to prove for an additional half an hour in the oven at 30°, placing the buns on a piece of baking paper and covering with a tea towel. Brush the surface with egg yolk, dust with the poppy seeds and make a number of cross-shaped cuts in the buns. Pour 100 ml water into the base of the oven and bake at 200° in static mode by pressing the Steam button. Allow to bake for approximately 25 minutes or until sufficiently golden.

Thanks to your homemade bread and focaccia, your picnic will no doubt be a resounding success! Enjoy yourself!

29/05/19
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