Some Italian favourites

In this 6 hour hands-on class we usually manage to make four breads from: fougasses, focaccia, croissants, baguettes, biscotti and we snack from the start; all of them are delicious straight from the oven.You will learn how to handle and shape very moist doughs, some with oil, some without. These wet doughs also suit kneading techniques different from the usual heel of the hand method.

Focaccia or Bigger focaccia

Easy and quick, focaccia is full of flavour, traditionally olives and rosemary, but parmesan, sea salt flakes, sundried tomatoes, chilli, garlic, peppers are all good. Focaccia dough has a lot of olive oil added in stages. It's important not to add it all at the beginning because this would stop the gluten from developing.

Biscotti

The type of Italian biscuit usually associated with the name biscotti is really a twice baked soda bread with sweet additions. They are easy to make and open to experimentation. The image at bottom left shows the little biscotti loaf after its first bake being sliced ready to be baked for another ten minutes.

Panini

These are very light little pillow rolls made with a moist soft dough, as for focaccia base.

Quick pizza and overnight pizza

My favourite pizza recipe starts the evening before with a pre-fermentation (poolish) and isn't ready till late afternoon the following day however there is very little work involved. The dough uses strong flour and plain flour mixed 50/50 to emulate pizza flour. It stays very moist which makes it a little difficult to handle at first. With a light touch and plenty of additional flour when we are shaping we will be fine! What more can I say about pizza - just that your own will be better than anyone elses, and will be exactly how you like them. Easy, cheap, quick. Asparagus pizza as shown opposite is one of my favourites.
There are also some ideas here on quicker pizzas, and on storing pre-made pizzas for easy baking later.


focaccia asparagus pizza biscotti