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Hi there,

After a hectic weekend which included a wedding, meeting a friend for coffee, a 34-mile round trip to my beauty salon, picking the husband up from a drinking session and a gig in Manchester I was determined to spend this weekend at a more sedate pace baking lots of different things.

However, judging by my first attempt on Thursday evening at making some focaccia bread I almost gave up there and then. I don’t tent to feature too many fails on the blog, but what the heck life’s not perfect and my version tasted good, it just wouldn’t win any awards for how it looked.

When researching recipes I decided to call upon my old friend Paul Hollywood who generally doesn’t let me down and he wouldn’t have done this time if I’d read the recipe properly…which is my usual problem when I’m either a) in a rush or b) doing two or three other things at the same time. This time I was making our evening meal so it wasn’t a great time to start making some bread!

The best decision I made was to halve the recipe which was a good thing as I would have had two sub-standard loaves and then the other thing I did was switch the strong white bread flour for wholemeal to make it healthier and easier to digest.

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So having mixed all the ingredients I left the dough to double in size while we nipped out. However, just before we left I double checked the recipe and realized that it needed a second prove for an additional hour, which knocked me off course and meant it would take me much longer than I expected.

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And it was this second prove which proved difficult as the dough struggled to rise as the house was a lot colder and darker than it would have been normally. However, I struggled on and tried to coax the dough to rise as much as possible, but it still hadn’t risen as much as I expected and as it was now 9.30pm I had no option to put it in the oven.

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So after 20 minutes my flatbread focaccia was ready. It might not have been as fluffy, or as puffed up as Paul Hollywood’s or have the best texture, but after a drizzle of oil, a twist of sea salt and a sprinkle of crushed chilli flakes it tasted more than good enough, which I’ll take over it looking great, but tasting rubbish!

I’m sure I’ll have another attempt at making this in the future to see if I get a different result, but in the meantime if you want to make a better focaccia bread than me click here for the recipe.

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On a positive note at least the homemade wholemeal garlic and coriander nan turned out much better.

Suz x

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