Archives For Vegan Baking

Making bread is a form of art.To me personally making and sharing bread is a form of expressing love. Soft flour, bubbly yeast and rich oil make a perfect Focaccia bread.

figs and focaccia bread recipe

Eat me NOW!

As an amateur bread maker I choose simple recipes. This month I was invited by the Orchard at Tesco to try some exotic fruits and they kindly let me pick them too. From the bunch of fruits that I got -black Italian grapes, sweet juicy watermelon, fresh jaffa tangerines my favourite by far are the fresh figs from Turkey. The figs, sold in Tesco,that I buy every year around this time  are in season and I simply love them.

This is the first time I use them to bake with and the results are brilliant.

Focaccia is a traditional Italian bread, which is flat and very similar to pizza dough but it’s loved by many.The fluffy dough infused with olive oil is a pure joy to eat and share. You can make countless different toppings as this bread is very versatile and so so tasty. The savory ideas include tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, aubergines, olives, artichokes, rosemary, parsley and crepes.There are also sweet recipes of Focaccia which can include dried fruits, nuts, maple syrup, sweet orange or lemon peels, ginger, cinnamon.

The recipe I have chosen offers a great palate of flavours as it has savory and sweet tones, nicely finished with the rich caramelized onions. It is very delicious indeed. Here it is. 

fig and onion focaccia bread recipe

Fig and onion focaccia bread

Love getting your fingers oily 🙂 

You can use the base as easily as a pizza base. My boys said that my focaccia bread tastes like the best pizza they have ever had. So here is the simple method on how to make the bread.

Fig and Onion Focaccia Bread Recipe

Serves 12 , Takes 1hr 20 minutes plus proving

Ingredients:

500g strong white bread flour

14g dried yeast

1 tbsp sugar

pinch of salt

4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing, kneading and serving

For the topping:

4 ripe figs (washed and cut into slices)

1 small onion cut into small boats

2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of Maple syrup

a pinch of salt and black pepper

olive oil for frying

Method:

1.Put the flour in a mixing bowl. In a cup mix the yeast, sugar and 100ml of warm water. Gently mix with a small whisk or a fork and let it dissolve and bubble for a few minutes until it becomes a foam. Pour the contents of the cup into the flour and make a well in the center.

2.Add another 150 ml of warm water and a pinch of sea salt.Mix with a spoon and then start kneading with your very oily hands, adding a little bit more oil, so the dough is easy to handle. Keep kneading till you get a elastic soft and smooth dough. Transfer it into an oiled bowl and cover it with damp cloth to keep the warm moisture. Let it prove for about an hour or until doubled in size.

3.Meanwhile you can caramelize the onions. Simply fry them gently in a bit of olive oil with some salt and pepper and let them become soft and almost fully cooked before you add the balsamic vinegar. Once the onions are ready add the balsamic vinegar and let them simmer for about 30-60 seconds until they become sticky. If you want you can add some Maple syrup as well, depending on your preference.

4.Once your dough is ready cut into two halves.Grease your chosen baking pan-ideal size would be 20cmx30cm for the 1/2 of the dough, but you can simply work with what you have by simply using less dough. The aim is to make sure you have enough space for the dough to rise and bake and also to remain flat. Using your oily fingers place the dough into the pan and stretch it to fill the edges and the corners of the pan. Make rows of evenly spaced dimples over the surface of the dough. Now press the sliced figs and sprinkle the onions, too. Set the pan aside to prove for further 35-45 minutes or until doubled in size.

5.Preheat the oven to fan mark 170-180 degrees. Bake the bread on the middle shelf for about 30-35 minutes, or until golden. Once it’s ready, leave it to cool for a few minutes and you can drizzle a bit of olive oil just before serving.

fig and onion focaccia bread recipe

Serving suggestion but perfectly lovely on it’s own, too.

So there you have it. Once you’ve mastered the dough you can get creative with your toppings, too. Try sun dried tomatoes with roasted garlic and rosemary, or sweet red peppers, black olives and oregano. You can also shape the dough into a pizza and add your favourite pizza toppings, too. I have made garlic bread using the exact same dough and it is amazing.

Hope you get a chance to try this recipe.

Be well and wild and enjoy the ride!

Lots of Love,

Ivelina

You can find more great recipes and product reviews from our friends at the Village Bakery

Finally I can sit down and share with you a wonderful recipe for a free from chocolate cake. As an aspiring vegan recipe creator I am always on a look out for the perfect chocolate cake recipe. 

Looking after and feeding my baby makes every 20 or so minutes very precious and productive at the same time. I am over the moon and madly in love with our youngest addition of the family, I am so grateful and feel so lucky and privileged to bring another amazing boy with us.

free from coconut milk drink tesco

So when I was offered to try some items from the free from section in Tesco, I was delighted. One of the recipes that is a result of bringing new products to the kitchen is this vegan chocolate cake. I used the Tesco free from coconut milk, which is also very nice in my coffee, by the way. 

Surprisingly this time the recipe inspiration came from Nigella Lawson. I made this cake a week before I gave birth to our youngest son and I almost ate all of it myself. The cake was a real hit with the rest of the family. 

So here is what you need for the cake

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
½  of a teaspoon of sea salt
2 teaspoons of espresso coffee (mine is made in the Moka pot, but you can use instant coffee as well)  
¾ of a cup of unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ cups of Muscovado unrefined sugar
1 ½ cups of warm coconut milk (or any other plant milk)
6 tablespoons of coconut oil (90ml)
1 ½ teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

Method 

Put the flour, bicarb soda, salt, instant espresso and cocoa in a bowl and use a fork to mix.
Mix together the sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar until the coconut oil has melted, and stir into the dry ingredients. You then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. You should check at the 30-minute mark to see if it’s finished. 
When it’s ready, the cake will be coming away from the edges of the tin and a cake tester will come out clean, apart from a few crumbs. This is a fudgy cake and you don’t want to overdo it.
Once the cake is cooked, transfer the tin to a wire rack and let the cake cool in its tin.

While the cake is cooling down you can make the icing. I made a simple vanilla icing with coconut cream. Beat the coconut cream, adding icing sugar and vanilla extract until it becomes thick and leave in a fridge for about an hour. Serve with a few fresh blueberries and enjoy!

easy vegan chocolate cake recipe