is our favourite bread and we make it from scratch once or twice a week. It is an oven-baked flat bread that is usually seasoned with olive oil, salt and herbs, but can be topped with cheese, meat and vegetables. At its simplest, olive oil and salt is all that is required to make this an authentic accompaniment to an Italian meal. In this blog we go through two recipe variations with our favourite toppings. The first, more traditional, recipe is seasoned with oil, salt and rosemary; the second, has a simple olive, chilli, tomato and rosemary topping…but if neither of those take your fancy, simply substitute for your favourite ingredients!

Plain Focaccia

Ingredients

– 500ml of luke warm water
– 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
– 700g of bread flour
– 2 teaspoons of salt + extra for sprinkling
– Olive oil
– A handful of rosemary sprigs

Method

Step 1. Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl.

Make a well in the flour and pour the warm water into it.

Step 2. Combine to make a dough. This dough is meant to be sticky so try it this way and resist the temptation to add more flour before changing the recipe. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes in a warm part of the kitchen.

Step 3. Stretch the dough in the bowl and fold it over in half. Turn the bowl 90 degrees, stretch and fold again then repeat this process for 5-10 minutes. Incorporate the dough stuck to the sides of the bowl as you go until you are left with a round ball.

Cover the bowl with the tea towel and let the dough rest for about 40 minutes until it has doubled in size.

Step 4. Repeat step 3.  The dough should now have a silky consistency, very different to that at the start of step 3.  At the end of this step, I sometimes cover it in the bowl and leave it in the fridge or a cool place overnight ready for an earlier start in the morning and it arguably improves taste and crumb structure.

Place the folded dough in an oiled, shallow pan. This pan is 25cm x 35cm and it works well for a batch of this size. Start to stretch it out a bit, but don’t worry if it does not cover the bottom of the pan yet.  Cover it and let it prove for around 40 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Step 5. Once the dough has risen, stretch it out to cover the tray.

Step 6. Let it rest for another 30 minutes, then, using your fingertips, poke deep holes across the whole surface, almost to the bottom to create lots of  dimples in the dough. Use wet hands to do this so that the dough doesn’t stick to your finger tips.

Step 7. Make the glaze by combining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water and drizzle generously over the top.

Sprigs of rosemary can be poked in and the remainder chopped and sprinkled over the surface with some extra salt.  Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Step 8. Preheat the oven to 2500C. Place a tray of boiling water in the bottom of the oven 10 minutes before you are ready to bake the focaccia.

Bake for 10 minutes and then turn down to 2200C for a further 20-25 minutes. This level of temperature control is not quite achievable in the Rayburn…but the result is still an awesome focaccia.

Tip out onto a cooling rack

Eat and enjoy!

Olive, Chilli, Tomato and Rosemary Focaccia

Extra ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pitted olives
  • chillies to taste
  • strips of sun-dried tomato (halved cherry tomatoes work equally well)

Follow up to step 7, drizzle over the glaze then add the extra ingredients

Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes

Follow cooking instructions but after 10-15 minutes in the oven, once the crust is turning a golden brown, cover with tin foil to protect the toppings from burning.

Hope you enjoy this recipe, as you can see, it’s very popular with absolutely everyone in our house!


Focaccia
 
Focaccia is our favourite homemade bread and we make it from scratch once or twice a week. It is an oven-baked flat bread that is usually seasoned with olive oil, salt and herbs, but can be topped with cheese, meat and vegetables. At its simplest, olive oil and salt is all that is required to make this an authentic accompaniment to an Italian meal.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
Plain Foccacia
  • 500ml of luke warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
  • 700g of bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt + extra for sprinkling
  • Olive oil
  • A handful of rosemary sprigs
Olive, Chilli, Tomato and Rosemary Focaccia
  • ¼ cup pitted olives
  • chillies to taste
  • strips of sun-dried tomato (halved cherry tomatoes work equally well)
Instructions
Plain Foccacia
  1. Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl
  2. Make a well in the flour and pour the warm water into it
  3. Combine to make a dough. This dough is meant to be sticky so try it this way and resist the temptation to add more flour before changing the recipe. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes in a warm part of the kitchen
  4. Stretch the dough in the bowl and fold it over in half. Turn the bowl 90 degrees, stretch and fold again then repeat this process for 5-10 minutes. Incorporate the dough stuck to the sides of the bowl as you go until you are left with a round ball
  5. Repeat step 3. The dough should now have a silky consistency, very different to that at the start of step 3. At the end of this step, I sometimes cover it in the bowl and leave it in the fridge or a cool place overnight ready for an earlier start in the morning and it arguably improves taste and crumb structure.
  6. Place the folded dough in an oiled, shallow baking pan. This pan is 25cm x 35cm and it works well for a batch of this size. Start to stretch it out a bit, but don’t worry if it does not cover the bottom of the pan yet. Cover it and let it prove for around 40 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  7. Once the dough has risen, stretch it out to cover the tray
  8. Let it rest for another 30 minutes, then, using your fingertips, poke deep holes across the whole surface, almost to the bottom to create lots of dimples in the dough. Use wet hands to do this so that the dough doesn’t stick to your finger tips
  9. Make the glaze by combining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water and drizzle generously over the top.
  10. Sprigs of rosemary can be poked in and the remainder chopped and sprinkled over the surface with some extra salt. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 2500C. Place a tray of boiling water in the bottom of the oven 10 minutes before you are ready to bake the focaccia
  12. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn down to 2200C for a further 20-25 minutes.
  13. Tip out onto a cooling rack
Olive, Chilli, Tomato and Rosemary Focaccia
  1. Follow up to step 7, drizzle over the glaze then add the extra ingredients
  2. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes
  3. Follow cooking instructions but after 10-15 minutes in the oven, once the crust is turning a golden brown, cover with tin foil to protect the toppings from burning.

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