Let me ask you a question. How often do you get minor injuries in the kitchen? Once a month maybe; from an accidental slip of the hand when chopping or a careless grab at a boiling hot handle from the oven. Maybe even twice a month during the festive season.
I admit I am clumsy person in life but I am a major danger to myself when I get into the kitchen. Every time I have used the stove, oven or any kitchen appliance, I seem to come worse off than when I started.
For the past few weeks I have realised that all the boos-boos and scars I have all come from my adventures in the kitchen. Every time I cook something, there always has to be a safe aid kit somewhere just in case. If there was a television show documenting my kitchen activities it should be called Girl verses kitchen appliances. Think I am exaggerating? Maybe a bit but I am definitely getting a new scar every week for baking.
For example, this past year I have acquired a number of new burns on my arms and hands. I think this past week I have burned myself 3 times on the stove. Often it is because I am quite short; every time I need to reach for something on the back to stove tops, my arms grows ever closer to being burned hot fry pans.
It is not just the big appliances that have it out for me, I think my toaster does not like as well. Have you ever been shot at by your toaster? Not just once but 2 twice.
You know how they say a watched kettle never boils, it does not apply to toasters. The only two times I have stood by the toaster, I have been shot at by flying pieces of burning hot toast. I wonder if they have taken battle tips from Greek history?
Hopeful your toaster will not attack you when you need to toast a piece of this focaccia. I know I have posted two bread recipes before this one but unfortunately I have been very stressed. Others go to desserts, my stress relief is bread making and eating. I have been experimenting with beer based baked goods because I have been inspired by a fellow blogger who is known for her beer recipes. She does such creative things and many of them look delicious. While I may not be as creative as her with beer, I saw this recipe for a beer glazed focaccia and I just had to try it.
This is a wonderful aromatic bread because the caramelised beer glaze; along with the olive oil it provides a crust which contrast against the chewy tight crumb. For the herbs you can use whatever you fancy but I have been looking for an excuse to use my bottles of infused olive oils (lemon chili in this case) and paired it with Thai basil. To compliment these Asian flavours I used Tiger beer here, I find that you need stronger beers against robust flavours. Toasted or eaten the day it is made is the best way to serve with bread but it also freezes very well and makes great croutons.
Beer glazed Thai basil Focaccia
Adapted from this beer glazed bread and the Focaccia recipe from thekitchn.com
One Focaccia about 27x19cm
300g bread flour
175ml warm water
60g Chili lemon infused Extra virgin Olive oil
120ml normal olive oil
1 bunch of Thai basil, chopped
1 medium chili, the large ones which are not as hot, scrapped and chopped
2 tsp cracked pink salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
Combine your yeast and water in a jug, Stir to dissolve and leave for 20 minutes to get foamy.
In a large bowl combine your flour, salt, yeast mix and flavoured oil. Knead until you get a smooth ball but still slightly tacky. Coat with oil and place in clean bowl.
Cover bowl with cling film and leave to rest and proof 1-2 hours.
Pre heat oven to 250c and place your pizza stone in the oven. Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper, oil generously with unflavoured oil.
Prepare your beer glaze. In a frying pan, fry off your basil and chili in 30ml of olive oil. Add your beer and leave to reduce until most of liquid is gone.
Punch down dough and place in your dough in prepared tin, stench it out as much as possible. Cover with a damp towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
With your hands spread the beer glaze then poke dents in your bread, pushing the herbs into the dents. Coat with remaining olive oil and sprinkle your salt and pepper.
Place in oven and turn it down to 190c. Bake for 20 minutes. It may come out darker because of the glaze.
Remove from pan straight away to cooling rack. Leave for 10 minutes.