Focaccia is a classic Italian bread and it’s one of my absolute favourite breads to not only eat, but to make too! It feels really indulgent because of the large quantities of olive oil that is used so, even though they say olive oil is better for you, it’s definitely not a bread for when you’re trying to watch the waistline. It’s wonderfully versatile too, as it can be used to make sandwiches, it makes a wonderful accompaniment to pasta, soups, stews or even enjoyed just dipped in (more) olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This recipe uses Olives, Rosemary and Garlic, but it’s wonderfully verstatile. Another great combination is Oregano and Sea Salt. Bellissimo!
Olive, Rosemary & Garlic FocacciaPrint Recipe
- 500g Strong White Bread Flour
- 360ml Water
- 60ml Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling/greasing
- 10g Salt
- 7g Instant Yeast
- To finish
- Pitted Olives
- A couple spring of Rosemary
- 2 - 3 Garlic Cloves
- Also needed:
- Large (2 - 3 litre) plastic container
- Large roasting tin
Add the flour into a large bowl - I would highly recommend using a stand mixer with a dough hook. You can do this with a wooden spoon and/or your hands, but this is quite a wet dough so be prepared to get messy if you do!
Add in the salt to one side of the bowl, and the yeast to the other side.
Make a slight well in the centre of the flour and add in the olive oil.
Now, on a low speed, mix together the ingredients while gradually adding in the water a little at a time until it's completely combined, then increase to a medium speed and knead for about 5 minutes. If you're doing this by hand, you can do the first stage of kneading by hand - just make sure your hands a slightly oiled so the dough doesn't stick to you as much.
On a clean work surface, add some more olive oil and tip the dough onto it and finish the kneading by hand for additional five minutes. Don't be tempted to use flour! If the dough starts to stick, then add a little more oil to the surface and use a dough scraper to release it from the surface.
Now, tip the dough into a large, well-oiled plastic container (around 2-3 litres) and seal tightly, preferably with a lid, and leave to prove for 1 - 2 hours or until doubled in size. If you don't have a lid, then use well-oiled cling film.
Grease a deep, flat-bottomed roasting tin with plenty of olive oil. Then very gently tip the dough into the tray - unlike other breads you don't want to knock all of the air out of the dough - and stretch out to fill the pan. Cover lightly with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for another hour.
Heat your oven to 200˚C/390˚F/Gas Mark 6.
Once the dough is proved, oil your fingers and prod deep dimples into the dough, and then pop the olives into the indentations. Chop the rosemary and garlic, sprinkle over the dough and drizzle over more olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until a lovely, golden brown.
Drizzle over more olive over the top and leave to cool completely in the tin.
Serve with pasta, with more olive oil, or enjoy on it's own!