Gaby's Bakery - Spiced Semolina Cake & Focaccia Bread

December 14, 2021

Gaby's Bakery - Spiced Semolina Cake & Focaccia Bread

300 languages and 270 Nationalities. A cultural mix that makes London such an exciting place to live. Well it used to be anyway, and I’m sure it will become so again soon after lockdown is lifted. Here I offer two international recipes. One from the mysterious East and one from a European cradle of gastronomy.

Spiced Semolina Cake

180gms semolina
120mls yoghurt
120mls milk
100gms sugar
80gms melted butter
1 tbsp chopped pistachios
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp cardamom powder
Pinch of saffron
Pinch of salt

Prepare a 20cm cake tin, grease and line with parchment paper. In a bowl, mix the semolina, salt, cardamom powder, saffron and sugar. Add in the melted butter, yoghurt and milk. Combine well and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180c.

Add in the pistachios, (the batter should be of pouring consistency). Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for appx 25 mins / until a skewer comes out clean. Serves well with vanilla ice cream.

Focaccia Bread

300gms strong white bread flour
7gms quick yeast
175mls warm water
9 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sea salt flakes
3 sprigs rosemary leaves

Place the rosemary in 6 tbsp of the olive oil and leave to infuse. Mix the flour, yeast, remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp salt together and then gradually mix in the water, (which will give you a sticky dough). Lightly flour a work surface and knead for 5-8 mins, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in and cover with an oiled piece of cling film and/or tea towel. Leave in a warm place for an hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Once proved, punch down the dough/knead for a minute or two and then place in the prepared tray and push out to fit all corners. Leave to rise again for 30 mins, and preheat oven to 200⁰C. Before placing in the oven, use your finger to make dimples in the dough and then drizzle the rosemary infused olive oil over and sprinkle the remaining salt.

Bake for appx 20 mins, until golden brown. Take out the oven and leave to cool covered with a piece of foil (which creates steam to keep the crust soft).


Gaby Van Clarke

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