Suraj Balaji

A true foodie I'm like a broken juke box that sings all the time. A balance of flavours and textures is the only thing I need to fall in love with food. I've always been that person who was interested in anything and everything and I've dabbled in various art forms and the only two that stuck (because those were the only ones I was even partially good at) was cooking/baking and singing. As a child I took Carnatic music classes and would wander around the kitchen and slowly got into baking along with pursuing my Engineering degree in Electronics and communication.

Focaccia Bread (Recipe & Ingredients):

For preparing the yeast
- 330 ml (1 1/3 cup) water
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp instant yeast

For the bread dough:
- 250 gm of all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:
Anything your heart desires
Alakshyendra's instant wrap

- Heat the water to be just above body temperature and dissolve the sugar and yeast in it and let it rest for 10 minutes.
-Into the bowl add flour and salt and mix well. Stir in the oil and yeast mixture. and knead for a good 8 to 10 minutes. You can think of someone you aren't very fond of while doing this.
-Let the dough proof for an hour in a warm draft free area.
-Roll the dough into a rough rectangle using as little flour as you can. Carefully transfer the rolled dough into a greased 9” by 12” baking tray. Spread and shape the dough to fit into the tin. (You could refrigerate the dough at this stage if you plan to make it later.)
-Allow to rest in a warm place for another half an hour until the dough raises. It could take a little longer if the weather is very cold.
-Once you put the dough to rest, you can prepare the topping. I usually like tomatoes, caramelized onions and some herbs like basil and rosemary. I usually cut some cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters just to keep all the tomatoes to roughly be the same size. For the onions, in a small saucepan, I add some oil and thinly sliced strips of onion (at the same time) ad cook it on low flame. During the process I add a couple of dried herbs to flavour the oil as well.
-After the dough is raised and doubled in size, make equally spaced indentations with your thumb or forefinger. Add your toppings and a generous helping of olive oil. Don't be stingy or afraid because the oil is what your bread will drink and make it delicious.
-Bake in a pre heated oven at 200 C/400 F for twenty minutes. Every oven is different so watch carefully and make sure your bread is not overly browned.
P.S. Add some olive oil on top as soon as it comes out of the oven and allow it to completely cool (Out of the tray) before cutting it.
Happy Eating! ☺

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