Bottlenose Dolphins

I’ve been on holiday for a while now but it’s only in the last couple of days that I’ve finally begun to understand that that means I can do what I want when I want.  That  cupboard doesn’t really need to be gutted.  Those floors look better without polish.  And that pile of marking… Well, ok, it does have to be done before the start of the new term but perhaps not right now…

So, having embraced “holiday mode” I spent much of today at the beach.  Sunbathing?  No.  Dolphin-spotting.  :)

Shieldaig

We popped over to the west coast to the village of Shieldaig for lunch yesterday.  It’s a stunning spot and the journey there is pretty spectacular too.  Unfortunately, the sun stood me up and the skies were grey and leaden making for pretty unspectacular photos of a spectacular area.  Fully intend on returning again on the first sunny day we get.  Assuming we ever get another sunny day, that is…

Fougasse

I appear to have misplaced my blogging mojo.  If you happen to come across it, please let me know and I’ll come pick it up…

Until then, here’s a very nice bread recipe.  Warning: a solitary person can devour an entire loaf in a single afternoon.

Fougasse

(Makes two loaves)

300ml warm water

1 tspn dry active yeast

400g strong white flour

1 tspn salt

Olive oil

Black olives, finely chopped

Other topping – seeded tomato slices or courgette strips or  red pepper

Salt flakes (e.g. Maldon)

  • Add the yeast to the warm water and set aside until the yeast foams a little (around 10 mins).
  • In a large bowl stir together the flour and salt.  Add the yeasty water and stir to create a wet dough.  Leave for 5 mins.
  • Smear a little olive oil onto your work surface and plop the dough out onto it.  Knead for  five minutes.  (You might need to add a tiny bit more flour if the dough is really too sticky to do anything with but don’t add much.  I just dip my hands in flour a couple of times if need be.)
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a teatowel.  Leave in a warm (not too hot!) place for 30 mins until doubled in sized.
  • Knead the dough for a couple of minutes again and place back in the bowl for another 30mins.
  • Line two baking trays with baking paper and dust with flour.  Split dough in two and roll gently each bit into a triangle shape a 1/2 inch thick.   Use a knife or spatula to make incisions in the dough like this:
  • Use your fingers to widen the incisions so you can see the work surface.  Place on a baking tray.  Brush with olive oil then scatter with chopped olives and another topping.  (I’d use more than I did in the pictures next time)  Set aside to rise in a warm area – approximately 40 mins.
  • Meanwhile, heat your oven to 210 oC (or 200 oC if fan assisted).   When oven reaches the right temperature place a cake tin of hot water in the bottom of the oven.  Leave for 10 mins to let the oven get steamy.
  • Sprinkle the dough with salt flakes then immediately pop into the oven for 20 mins.
  • Remove from oven and leave to cool on a rack before eating.