Meal, 2015-12-07

Warm bread is always a winner

Hosting a party starts with choosing what appetizers you are going to serve. This small dish sets the tone for the rest of your dinner party. It can’t be too heavy, but too light is also a buzz kill.

For the holidays I am testing Kitchenaid’s brand new Cook Processor. Personally I used to be quite sceptic about these type of machines but Kitchenaid succeeded in creating a wonderful set with delicious recipes. This is key to making this machine a success. Using the recipes as a base to create your own ideas. The Artisan Cook Processor is the perfect helping hand in your kitchen to make sure your dinner party runs smoothly.

The dough function is one of my favourites. I love the smell of fresh bread or pastries. As a first appetizer I decided to test their focaccia recipe. I tried making it a bit less greasy than your average focaccia by reducing the amount of oil. The cook processor takes the sticky part of handling the dough out of the process so you can focus on making the dip or the drinks. I based this recipe on one from the Kitchenaid website. Every country has its own selected chef to create custom recipes for the Cook processor. Here you can find the Belgian selection.

How do you make it?

1. Place the flour, salt, yeast, water and oil into the cooking bowl fitted with the dough blade.

2. Now close the lid, select DOUGH P1 and press Start to activate Step 1.

3. After Step 1 scrape the bowl down to make sure there isn’t any dough left on the sides of the pot. Close the lid again and press start to activate Step 2.

4. After Step 2 press start to activate Step 3. This part of the program lets the dough rise at 40°C for half an hour.

5. After Step 3 press cancel to exit the keep warm function and scrape the dough into a 33 x 22 cm roasting tin. Make sure it is well greased with olive oil before scraping in the dough, the oil doesn’t only prevent it from sticking to the tin but also gives it that greasy texture. I used less oil to give it more of a bread result than a focaccia. Press the dough into an even layer. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

6. While the dough is rising you can prepare a topping if you like. I kept mine basic by just adding some herbs. Add the shallots to the cooking bowl fitted with the ‘Multiblade’ Knife and close the lid. Press Pulse for 10 seconds. Remove the shallots from the bowl and Replace the ‘Multiblade’ with the ‘StirAsisst’ and add the lardons to the bowl. Close the lid. Select FRY P1 and press Start to activate the program.

7. Once the dough has risen for 30 mins gently press your fingers all over the dough to create small holes. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with the shallots, lardons and thyme. Bake at 200°C (180°C fan) for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

8. While the focaccia is in the oven you can make a butternut dip with some of the butternut puree used for your Christmas cocktail. Simply add butternut puree, olive oil, thyme, sea salt, chili powder or flakes to cream cheese. Blend it all together with a fork and top with some fried bacon and red onion.