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