If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that Zoom is a really great tool for learning how to cook and bake.
Z and I just learned how to bake Japanese-style Dodeca Focaccia bread with the capable help of Hayami Ide of Haya’s Bakehouse. Hayami is a local mom who decided to start her own home bakery business to spread her love of baking homemade bread for her family.
Hayami, who helpfully told us that her name is pronounced like “Miami with an h,” was a wonderful teacher. She kept things light and fun – with a little help from her adorable assistant, aka her son.
We spent an hour on Zoom together as she walked us through baking prep, including mixing of the ingredients and handling of the bread dough.
Then, since bread dough requires some waiting time so the yeast can do its thing, we put our dough aside and watched Hayami as she finished the process at her end and showed us how to shape the dough and bake it. Her lesson was excellent and later, after our dough was ready, we were able to shape and bake ours to perfection without any further assistance from Hayami.
Hayami’s friendly and professional instruction made pros of us in just one hour – and now we can repeat this delicious Focaccia bread recipe anytime. It is so easy and requires just five ingredients: bread flour, water, salt, yeast and olive oil.
I had always thought baking bread was tricky or difficult, but Hayami’s “fuss-free” bread recipes are her trademark. She takes the complexity down so that baking is easy and quick for busy moms and beginners like me. We ended up with an absolutely perfect loaf of focaccia bread, better than anything we could buy in a store!
Hayami learned to bake in Japan and is certified in a very special type of Japanese baking. She is very precise in her measurements but assured us that we don’t have to be as precise, because the focaccia recipe she provided us is actually very forgiving. We were glad to hear that!
Hayami also shared that the basic focaccia bread recipe can be adjusted to preference by adding fillings to the bread, including savory fillings like ham and cheese, or sweet fillings like chocolate chips. She also said we could garnish our bread on top with rock salt, rosemary or other herbs. We opted for rock salt for our first time.
Our house smelled wonderful while the bread was baking. I sent photographs to Hayami when it came out of the oven, and she said it was perfect – we were so pleased! At one point while mixing our dough, she was able to make recommendations that helped us improve it. The Zoom lesson format definitely works.
Although I got the feeling that Hayami would rather be teaching live classes in person at her home, I am happy she’s able to continue teaching people to bake via Zoom during this pandemic. Baking is a soothing, pleasant activity that gives you a sense of pride when it’s complete. It’s the perfect hobby for these crazy times – and there’s even a little magic to it.
And, baking is a delightful activity to do with kids – just watch the wonderful Little Chef Cade’s videos if you don’t believe me. He’s the best!
Sign up for your baking classes with Hayami here; she offers new recipes each month and should be posting November’s classes soon. She has some very cute Halloween-themed bread classes available for October.
Have you been baking your own bread during the pandemic, or have you ever tried? I highly recommend a Zoom baking class with Haya’s Bakehouse!