This lovely focaccia bread recipe is a wonderful side for family dinners or to serve with friends combined with dips, salads and tapas. Easy to make with very little effort and delicious toasted the next day. I hope you enjoy making this as much as we do!
Delicious Focaccia RecipeCourse: SidesCuisine: Breads, BakingDifficulty: Easy
500g Strong Bread Flour
20g Semolina or Cornmeal
7g Instant Yeast or 15g Fresh Yeast
50g Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
320ml Water (at room temperature or slightly warm to the touch)
1 Bunch of Fresh Rosemary
Rock Sea Salt
- If you are using instant yeast, weigh the water and add the sachet to the water, mixing together with a fork and then leave to absorb into the water.
- Weigh the bread flour, semolina and salt and (if using fresh yeast) combine together making sure that if you are using fresh yeast you crumble this away from the salt and into the flour.
- Return to the water/yeast mixture (if using instant yeast) and mix again with a fork, this should now turn the water milky and make sure that all the yeast is combined into the water. If the yeast is already added if you have used fresh yeast, you can ignore this step.
- Add the water to the dry ingredients and then weigh the olive oil and add to this mixture as well. Using the dough hook from the mixer stir everything together just enough so that it is starting to combine and then place the mixer bowl and hook onto the mixer, and mix on a low speed for 10 minutes.
If you don’t have a mixer then you can create this bread by hand by kneading initially together in the bowl and then turning it out onto an oiled surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and silky and bounces back when you push a finger into it.
- Once the dough is ready, put it into an oiled bowl and leave it in a warm place to rise for an hour.
- When the dough is risen turn out onto an oiled (with olive oil) flat tray (a traybake sheet works well or a large rectangular earthenware dish – approximately 30 x 15cm) and gently press out the dough to the edges of the tray being careful not to tear or rip the dough. Leave for approximately 30 minutes to rise again and cover with either a tea towel or oiled clingfilm.
- Once the dough has risen, put a little oil on your fingertips and press your fingers into the dough to make the characteristic dimples of the bread, pushing down just enough to create the indents but not so far as to hit the bottom of the tray. I tend to work from the top down to the bottom and space my fingers as evenly apart as possible. Leave for another 30 minutes covered again as before. During this time turn the oven on to 220C (428F).
- Rip off little sprigs of the rosemary and place all over the bread spacing evenly and then sprinkle the rock salt over as well. Put into the oven straight away and cook at 220C (428F) for 10 minutes and then turn down to 200C (392F) for around 20-25 minutes turning the tray around halfway through cooking. To check that the bread is done you can lift it slightly from the tray and knock on the base of the bread, if it is ready it will sound hollow, if it doesn’t return to the oven and cook a little longer.
- Remove from the oven and taking a pastry brush and a more Extra-Virgin Olive Oil brush all over the bread, it will make a delightful cracking sound. When it has cooled a little transfer it to a cooling rack and wait until it has cooled before eating.
- Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. Enjoy!
- To add extra flavour you can cut up olives and sundried tomatoes and incorporate them after you have made the dough in Step 5, making sure to mix the ingredients evenly through the dough.
- This bread will keep for around 2-3 days if wrapped, but in our house it normally disappears within a day!
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