Digital Commonwealth

This is the first dispatch from the Digital Commonwealth training sessions where I’ll be learning how to use blogging, audio & video production and social media to tell stories. 

So far we’ve shared stories with others in the group, watched a couple of excellent videos (from blogging about your school dinners to live-tweeting a cricket match), set up new WordPress blogs and folk are now typing away on their first posts.

We’ve set up a separate blog for Lambhill Stables and the plan is to use the skills we’ve learned at these workshops to get more and more people involved in the online side of things. The Silver Surfers group has been running for a month now and people have been giving us really positive feedback about their experiences with the technology. First experiences with Facebook have gone down a storm, with one photo provoking a stream of comments from people across the world saying hello. Francis from Ireland enjoyed using Google Street View to look at villages and towns back home, while many other participants have been brushing up on photo editing and storage thanks to the expertise of Sam, the mastermind behind the Lambhill Stables Photography Club.

Later on today we’ll be updating our blogs with photos and videos, and further on we’ll be sharing the things we create in the other workshops here.  

Wild Garlic & Rosemary Oil Foccacia

Aside

An old one this, from the start of the summer. No wild garlic for months now!

The wild garlic got relegated to the fridge overnight yet was still in excellent nick the next day. I adapted the original recipe a little due to lack of ingredients (ahem, Parmesan) and availability of others (rosemary growing in the back green!).

Dough

  • 600g strong white plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 level teaspoons easy-mix dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400ml warm water

Topping

  • 50g ramsons, washed and finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 30g of Galloway cheddar, yes my friends this is the most Scottish of focaccia
Rosemary Oil
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with the blade of a knife
  • 3 or 4 strips of lemon peel (pare it off with a vegetable peeler)
 Instructions
  1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add the liquids and mix with a wooden spoon. Knead that bad boy on the kitchen table for at least 10 minutes. I like this technique: 
  2. Once the dough looks good get it back into a clean bowl and leave it covered with clingfilm for a few hours til doubled in size.
  3. Now, our man says to line 2 baking trays that are about 22cm by 32cm  with baking parchment, I used one big one but there was a fairly high proportion of dough to crispy topping, and I think that splitting it between two smaller trays would be a better idea.
  4. Divide the dough into two and press into the trays. You’re going to leave it to puff up again so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fill the whole tray. Sprinkle the prepared wild garlic and cheese over the top, and add plenty of salt and pepper. Leave to rise for about 40 mins.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220ºC gas 7
  6. Make the rosemary oil: combine everything in a pan and heat over a very gentle flame – nothing should be frying here, you just want to infuse the oil with the flavours of the other ingredients. 10 minutes should do it, then strain the oil into a measuring jug.
  7. Once the dough has risen, poke holes into its surface with your fingers and then drizzle with the oil, which will collect in pools in the depressions. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the top is nicely browned. Lift out of the trays using the paper and place on a cooling rack, sliding the paper from underneath so the steam can escape and preventing the bread from going soggy.