One of the great benefits of baking at home is that you can “pimp” your products to your own taste. Speciality breads such as focaccia or ciabatta, or pastries such as croissants are getting more expensive and are usually the same bland factory produced rubbish.
My family (especially one of my daughters) absolutely adores freshly made focaccia. Give her a plate of pasta and a big slab of focaccia and she is happy!! And it is so easy to make!
Ciabatta is another firm favourite but it is a bit more difficult as the dough is very wet and difficult to knead. I have done this by hand but I would suggest using a food processor with a dough hook attachment if attempting this bread for the first time. It also takes longer than normal bread as you are adding glugs of olive oil over several hours so allow yourself plenty of time, but the results are well worth it.
Try home-made croissants, adding warm spices such as clove, cinnamon or nutmeg. You just don’t get them in the supermarket. Again, they are not easy to make although they are not too difficult. If you do make croissants, make a large batch and freeze them after you have shaped them and you will have a nice supply!
At Easter, make your own hot crossed buns. These are so good straight from the oven and covered in butter!
What I am trying to say is don’t be restricted by what you see in the shops. Use your imagination and have fun making breads and pastries with your own personal twist.
And above all, have fun!