Make Your Own Colourful Bouquet Bread
In between banana bread and sourdough starters, we’ve seen lots of focaccia bread art popping up in our Instagram feeds. Our studio assistant Lottie Fox-Jones baked her own colourful beautiful bouquet bread at home – follow her easy step by step recipe and make your own!
Lottie’s Colourful Bouquet Bread Recipe
I was inspired to create this after seeing so many people making bread in quarantine. It’s a great way to feel productive, and feels good to be making something physically with your hands – kneading is a great stress release! @blondieandrye on Instagram is a bread-maker who makes so many gorgeous scenes with her bakes. I really recommend giving her a follow for some inspiration and ideas.
To make the focaccia base, put 300g of bread flour, 1 sachet of instant yeast (7g) and 3 tbsp of olive oil in a bowl with 1 tsp of sea salt flakes. Gradually add 175ml of water and mix until you have a sticky dough. If you can’t find bread flour, the dough will also work with plain flour – just use whatever you’ve got to hand!
Knead the dough on a lightly oiled work surface for 6-8 minutes. It will seem really sticky at first but keep kneading until it becomes smooth and elastic. Tip the dough into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 220°C / fan 200°C / gas mark 7 and oil a baking sheet. Punch down the dough in the bowl then tip out and knead briefly. Place the dough onto the baking sheet and form into your shapes. I like to do a large oval measuring around 20 x 30 cm, but you could choose to make two or three smaller shapes.
Use your fingers to make dimples in the top of the dough and to shape a ‘crust’ around the outside, then decorate to your heart’s desire! I used spring onions, red onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots and rosemary, but you can use whatever you have lying around. It’s a great way to use up vegetable scraps that might otherwise be wasted. Try to make it as colourful as possible – and have fun!
Drizzle with olive oil and cook in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until the dough is a golden brown colour – don’t be tempted to open the door whilst your bread is cooking, as this will cause the dough to sink.
Allow to cool on a wire rack – or serve your bouquet bread warm, straight from the oven!