This lovely bread is an ideal accompaniment to garlicky starters like Gambas Pil Pil (already blogged), as part of an Italian-inspired antipasti lunch or simply to dip into olive oil with balsamic vinegar. However you choose to enjoy it, Focaccia is just lovely….and so simply to make, especially if you have a food processor or electric stand mixer.
What you need…
1 x shallow baking tray (26 x 36cms or larger) lightly oiled
500g strong white bread flour
7g fast action dried yeast
10g fine salt
325ml warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for coating and then drizzling
A sprinkle of sea salt
2 – 3 rosemary sprigs, cut to create around 12 little sprigs!
What you do…
If you have a mixer, fit it with the dough hook and then tip into the bowl the flour, yeast, salt, water and the tablespoon of oil. Mix on a low speed for 10 minutes until smooth and silky. If you don’t have a mixer, it’s the same process but by hand – somewhat more tiring and intensive (you can’t just walk away leaving it to do its own thing!)
Shape the dough into a ball and coat with a little olive oil. Pop into a clean bowl (I wash out the one I’ve just used to make the dough), cover with cling film and leave to rise to double its size (45-60 minutes depending on the warmth of the room).
Tip the dough out onto a work surface and press into a rough rectangle. Place on your baking tray and press the dough outwards with your fingers, right into the corners. Leave to rise again, loosely covered (with a plastic bag for instance) for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 250˚c / 480 ˚f / gas 10.
Using your fingertips to poke deep holes across the whole surface, almost to the bottom. Drizzle the tope generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Poke the rosemary sprigs into the holes and then pop into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 200˚c / 400˚f/ gas 6 for a further 10 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes whilst you enjoy the wonderful rosemary-infused aroma. Tear, share and enjoy…..simply yummy and nothing quite like it!
Very, very easy, especially if you have a mixer! Great to knock up to make a relaxed lunch or supper just a little more special.