Focaccia

There are many ways to make focaccia, some are more labour intensive than others – this one is remarkably simple.

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp dry active yeast
500g strong bread flour
375ml warm water, plus 50ml for salt mixture

10g fine sea salt

Toppings:

1 medium potato cut into 1/4cm slices
A few sprigs of rosemary
A clove of garlic, minced
Handful of mushrooms thinly sliced
A few sprigs of thyme
Handful of pitted olives
Flaky salt and black pepper

Method

There are many ways to make focaccia, some are more labour intensive than others – this one is remarkably simple. There’s no kneading in this recipe, but it does include a 12 hour rest period that helps develop a delicious flavour in the dough; we suggest starting the night before, so you’re not watching the clock. We’ve topped ours with olives, mushrooms, potatoes, herbs and a liberal sprinkling of sea salt. You could add halved cherry tomatoes, zucchini, or keep it simple – just salt and rosemary. Whatever you decide, be sure not to skimp on the olive oil, it’s essential for the texture and flavour of this crowd-pleaser.

 

Focaccia

For the dough, place all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the salt, and mix with a wooden spoon until you reach a shaggy dough. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the salt in a small bowl and dissolve with 50ml of warm water.

Pour onto the dough and use your hands to work the extra salty water into the dough, squeezing and pushing until it’s all incorporated. It should be quite a wet dough, gloopy and slippery. If you fancy seeing some visual cues for this you can see a little tutorial for this recipe on our instagram.

Cover and allow to rise slowly in the fridge for 12 – 24 hours. Any longer, and you run the risk of over-proofing, which will result in flatter bit still very delicious bread.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Liberally grease a large baking tray with olive oil  (we’re talking an even 1/2cm coverage) and tip out the focaccia dough onto the tray. Coat the dough with more olive oil, and using your hands, gently push the dough out to the edges. Allow the dough to rest and come to room temperature for 1 hour.

Using your fingertips, press the dough all over, leaving little dimples. Add toppings; if you’re adding potatoes overlap them slightly so they resemble fish scales.  Drizzle with a little extra olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-50 minutes or until golden and cooked through. If you want to add mozzarella, do so in the last 5 minutes, allowing it to melt and get all delicious.

Allow to sit for 15 mins before slicing up into generous slabs and digging in!

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