Well I did seem to cause a bit of stir this week when I posted a photo of Easter Eggs on my Facebook see https://www.facebook.com/catherinefulviochef . I was just browsing the aisles of the local shop on an average mid-week hunt for some fresh veg for a stir fry when I was nearly blinded by a brightly coloured tin foil egg mountain. Dark ones, milk ones, white ones, kids eggs, eggs in cups, eggs, eggs everywhere.
I thought maybe I had imagined it, maybe I was just having a mid-week slump and it was a simply a mirage so I immediately took this photo as evidence and submitted to the social media test. Well yes all my lovely followers and friends all agreed that I could believe my eyes, Dear me I have only just gathered up the last of the tinsel and (almost) finished the Christmas tin of Roses while mentally preparing myself for Valentines Day and now it seems I better start shopping for Easter Eggs …and quick before they run out !
I did have a moment where I thought to myself, hang on did I just miss a month, I mean I am always busy… running Ballyknocken or teaching in my Cookery School, www.ballyknocken.com or heading to a radio show to promote quality Irish Pork for http://www.bordbia.ie and looking after the family while generally enjoying my life, perhaps I skipped February altogether !!!:-)
Well that’s my little rant over…I’ll move on to the a topic that I can get on board with anytime of the year… and that is baking or in my case teaching you all about how to Bake Like An Italian. As you all know whether it’s living, loving, fashion, or pasta Italians just know how to do it right and baking is no exception. In my new book I travelled to Italy to research the very best authentic sweet and savory recipes. I really discovered how baking is in the blood of the Italians whether it’s a thin and crispy pizza slice you are after, or an Ameretti Crunch Cake I can tell you just how to bring the sounds, smells and tastes of la dolce vita into your kitchen. For all my recipes, hints and tips do visit my website www.catherinefulvio.com or follow me on Twitter @cfulvio
I often get asked for recipes through my website or social media and this is a special request from a lovely guest that took one of my cookery classes .The recipe she requested is for my gorgeous homemade Tomato Focaccia, it is so simple and such a fav of mine. Best of luck and enjoy…..and remember don’t mention the E word x
Makes 1 tray
2 ½ tsp dried yeast (or 1 x 7g sachet)
1 tbsp sugar
425ml lukewarm water (more if required)
200g freshly mashed potato
600g Italian ‘00’ or strong white flour
2 tsp salt
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
15 cherry tomatoes
5 to 6 small sprigs of rosemary or marjoram
Mix the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water and allow the yeast to activate. When the yeast is frothy, it’s ready to use. Add the mashed potato to the yeast and stir.
Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt, olive oil and yeast/potato mixture. Mix to a loose dough, adding more flour or water as required. Knead until the dough is very pliable, which should take about 7–10 minutes by hand. The dough may be a little sticky.
Leave the dough to rise in a well-oiled bowl covered with cling film until the dough has trebled in size and is springy to the touch, which will take 2–3 hours. This will rise best in a warm, draught-free place, e.g. a hot press or near a cooker or oven.
When it has risen, knock it back, gently knead it again on a lightly floured surface and place onto an oiled baking tray. Flatten the dough and push it into the corners of the tin. Brush with oil, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, which will take about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
Indent the dough using your fingertips, then place the tomatoes in the indentations. Sprinkle with the rosemary or marjoram and some sea salt and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then loosen from the pan and cut into squares.