Le Dolci offers a decadent list of hardcore bakery goods- macarons, ice cream, doughnut making…the list goes on, but their bread class is a crash course in carbs- let’s face it, bread can be kinda intimidating. You can fix a cupcake with icing sugar, but a baguette can’t be disguised as anything but a crappy loaf of broken promises. I was keen to hone some better baking skills, and took this bread class a few years ago at their Dundas West shop. Step by step we baked brioche, the ultimate butter soaked bun, and Italian classic focaccia, which can double as a dipper, impress as a pizza, or stand alone as a sandwich all-star. Lisa from Le Dolci has kindly given me permission to share these flour-rich recipes. Soon, we’ll be back in person for level two!

Everyone should have a good focaccia recipe. This super easy bread can be baked up in a snap, making it a star for scoring an invite to someone’s cottage (yes please). Try topping it with whatever you have on hand, Taleggio cheese, caramelized fennel, fragrant za’atar, loads of fresh herbs and of course, the bare necessities, s&P and evoo.

Brioche

Yields 1 loaf/ 6 x 100g balls

271g ap flour
6g instant yeast
32g sugar
7g salt
3x eggs
50g milk
122g butter

Add all ingredients except butter to the bowl of a stand mixer.
Mix on first speed for 2-3 mins until incorporated.
Increase to second speed and start adding butter 20g at a time. Mix a total of 6-7 mins on second speed
Cover the bowl and proof at room temp for 30-45 mins. Punch the dough down and repeat. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Shape brioche into desired size and proof in baking container until doubled in size, approx 60 mins.

Bake at 350Fº until internal temp reaches 190Fº or until a skewer removes clean from the centre.

Focaccia

Yields about 2 large 400g focaccias

400g ap flour
5g salt
5g sugar
2g instant yeast
335g cold water

Mix all by hand until no lumps are left.
Cover and proof at room temp approx. 8 hours
Divide into pieces and form a congestive ball. Rest on the table 30 mins and then top and bake at 450Fº until golden brown on the bottom.

All photos by Libby Roach.