Rosemary, Garlic and Black Olive Focaccia

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Love this bread, when served in Italian restaurants in an assortment of baked bread baskets, and always fresh, and 9 times out 10 they have been baked in the restaurant’s kitchen.

I don’t bake bread often but I do not buy Focaccia or Ciabatta from a bakery, only because I get the excuse to make and bake this bread.

It is not difficult to make, I make this bread to accompany our homemade stews; I know its not meant to accompany stews, but we like the combination. It takes a non veg stew around 2 hours to cook. Makes it perfect timing to make bread. So I always make the dough for the Focaccia bread first before prepping anything for a stew.
Focaccia is a firm family favourite. Using homegrown Organic Rosemary and Garlic. Black Olives is a must in our focaccia. But if you don’t like Olives, leave them out. In fact you could use any other combination of herbs or even seeds (sunflower, poppy etc). I’ve seen some with sun dried tomatoes too.

250g   Strong White Flour (’00’ or Bread making Flour)
    1g   Dried Yeast (Half Sachet)
1/2tsp Fine Sea Salt
       *  Olive Oil
     2   Cloves of Garlic
     A   sprig of Rosemary (young top tips of the plant which are not woody 
          at this time of the year)
1/2tsp Sea salt flakes
A few  Black Olives

  • Combine flour, fine sea salt and yeast together.
  • Add 1 tbsp of Olive Olive and combine well.
  • At this point you need tepid water to combine everything together. For this recipe I used around 300ml. But will all depend on the flour. 
  • Add water little at a time until all the ‘dry’ flour mix has come together.
  • Gently place this sticky dough onto a floured board. 
  • Knead until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (around ‘8 folds’ of kneading)
  • Once smooth place dough in an oiled bowl.
  • Place a damp tea towel over the bowl and place in a warm place to prove 
  • Prove for approx 45 minutes to an hour or until doubled in size.
  • The dough at this point will easily come away from the bowl with easy and place on a floured board.
  • Knead well for about 5 minutes. This helps the ‘gluten’ develop well in the dough. Skip this stage and the dough will not raise to give the lovely bread texture.
  • Finely chop Rosemary and dice Garlic into thin slices.
  • Add to the kneaded dough and knead a few more times.
  • Place dough in a well oiled 17cm square tray and spread into the tin using the tips of your fingers.
  • Push a few sprigs of Rosemary, chopped Olives and drizzle Olive Oil onto the dough and sprinkle Sea Salt flakes. 
  • Allow to rest a further 10 minutes for the dough to rise in the tray.
  • Bake in a preheated oven 190˙C for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from tin and allow to cool completely on a wired rack.
  • Cut into 9 equal sized pieces. Serve with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
Enjoy x

I’d love to hear what combinations you like to make. Drop me a comment below, or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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