Recipe: Focaccia Bread

FOCACCIA BREAD

You really can't beat the smell of fresh bread at home. This flat oven-baked Italian bread is perfect served as a starter with flavoured oil, as a sandwhich or to dip into your favourite soup. As it is fresh with no preservatives, it goes stale alot quicker! So make sure you freeze some after baking if you're not going to get through it all, it tastes just as good after it has defrosted.

Ingredients

  • 200 ml warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500 g strong bread flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (+ extra for drizzling)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 1 l olive oil
  • 7 g dried yeast
Activate the Yeast

Step 1

Activate The Yeast

Mix half of the warm water in with the yeast and sugar until it completely dissolves.

Add the Yeast & Oil

Step 2

Add The Yeast & Oil

Tip the yeasty water into the flour with the sugar and mix in a large bowl. Add the oil to the bowl with the salt, mixing again until combined.

knead the Dough

Step 3

Knead The Dough

Pour some more of the warm water into the bowl until the dough feels soft but not sticky. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface until it feels stretchy when pulled.

Leave the Dough to Prove

Step 4

Leave The Dough To Prove

Place the dough in a covered bowl in the fridge overnight for the best results, or in a warm room for about 60-90 minutes, until it has doubled in size.

Roll out the Dough

Step 5

Roll Out The Dough

Roll out the proved dough into an even but round shape about 5cm thick. Lay it onto a greased baking tray.

Poke Holes & Prove Again

Step 6

Poke Holes & Prove Again

Make some holes in the bread with floured fingers and then allow to prove in the warm place for another 30 minutes.

Make the Oil & Chop Herbs

Step 7

Make The Oil & Chop Herbs

Slice the chilli lengthways and place into the bottle of oil with the zest from the lemon and a few black peppercorns to infuse. Chop the rosemary and peeled garlic as finely as possible and sprinkle on top of the risen bread with a drizzle of olive oil.

Preheat the Oven

Step 8

Preheat The Oven

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Bake and Serve Warm!

Step 9

Bake And Serve Warm!

Bake the rested dough in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until golden, well risen and hollow sounding inside when tapped, then leave to cool. Slice the bread into strips and serve with the flavoured oil to dip into. Serves 6.

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