Baking the book – River cottage bread book catch up – focaccia and flat breads

Back in January I set myself the challenge of baking my way through the River cottage handbook bread. The plan is still there to complete this by the end of 2011. I won’t be baking every recipe (and I certainly won’t be building the clay oven!) since we have discovered that neither of us like sourdough and it’s unlikely I’ll do any of the breads that need deep frying. I think I have baked the majority of the loaves in the book but will check and finish those soon if I haven’t.

Since I last posted about this challenge in March I have bake the foccacia and the flat breads a couple of times each but never got round to blogging about them so here they are.


I’ve tried this recipe before and in fact it is my go to recipe for focaccia. Whilst in Italy though we had the most amazing focaccia’s which were very different to this bread. For this reason I’m determined to try different recipes for focaccia and see if I can recreate the delicious focaccias that we ate strolling the streets of Lucca.

Flat breads

I’ve baked these breads a couple of times and I know that I’ll bake them again soon. Above I served them straight after cooking with moussaka. I find they are best served warm so either serve them straight away or pop them in the toaster for a minute or so the day after to warm them through. If you have the book and want to bake this recipe my tips would be to not heat the hob to the highest setting (I use 7-8 on a ceramic hob) as I found the bottom side burnt before the bread rose sufficiently with my hob on high and I had my grill on high (as oppose to medium as directed). This could just be my hob/oven so experiment. The recipe makes 12 so if the first one isn’t a success change the hob/grill settings and try again.


10 thoughts on “Baking the book – River cottage bread book catch up – focaccia and flat breads

  1. Sounds like a pretty good challenge to me! The River Cottage Bread handbook is my absolute bread bible too – I’ve not yet made a recipe from it which didn’t work perfectly, although I did find their hot cross buns a little giant! You really can’t beat incredible homemade focaccia and the flatbreads are so versatile too. Delicious.

    • I’ve not tried the hot cross bun recipe yet but it looks like there is an error in that recipe (see Jacquelines reply further down). I love this book for bread baking, can’t recommend it strongly enough.

  2. Great Challenge!! I think that having a challenge in the kitchen makes a good cook. I love having recipe books because I cook from them all the time! I would love to have homemade bread but I do not think I am up for that challenge yet. Maybe soon I can try a simple recipe!

  3. Looks great. I was at a breadmaking course at the weekend. It was great, really gave me confidence and this is one of the books he recommended although he did say there were some errors through it. It you are going to make the hot cross buns email me and I will give you the correct measurements 🙂

    • I’ll email you later. I certainly do want to try the hot cross bun recipe (although I’ll have to bake it before next easter!).

      Glad you enjoyed your bread baking course. It’s a great skill to have.

  4. Pingback: Review of 2011 | Purely food

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