1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp dry active yeast
500g strong bread flour
375ml warm water, plus 50ml for salt mixture
A few sprigs of rosemary
Handful of mushrooms thinly sliced
A few sprigs of thyme
Handful of pitted olives
1 tomato, sliced
Flaky salt and black pepper
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, tomatoes, herbs and a liberal sprinkling of sea salt. You could add thinly sliced potato, 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.
For the dough, place all the ingredients except the salt in a bowl 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.
Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Liberally grease with olive oil (we’re talking an even .5cm coverage) and tip out the focaccia dough onto the tray. Flip the dough so both sides have been coated in oil, then, using your hands, gently push the dough out to the edges. Allow the dough to rest and come to room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Using your fingertips, press the dough all over, leaving little dimples. Add toppings, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 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!
Is there a way to incorporate leftover sourdough starter into this recipe? Many thanks
Oo Annabelle, great question. We can’t say for certain because we haven’t tested it but we can’t see why adding a small amount – say 50g of left over starter and reducing the water and flour by 25g each would work fine. The added sour flavour would be delish! Alternatively, this sourdough focaccia recipe is a winner!