Rosemary and Salt Focaccia
ROSEMARY AND SALT Focaccia recipe
Fun and EASY to make - great to share!
less than 30 mins
1 to 2 hours
Makes 1 large flat loaf
Suitable for Vegetarians
500g white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
80ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
150-250ml warm water
vegetable oil or oil spray, for oiling
1 bunch fresh rosemary
large pinch sea salt
Dust flour on a large flat baking tray.
Place the rest of the flour in a wide bowl, add the salt and yeast and add the olive oil and enough hot water to make the dough soft but not sticky. It should feel very loose and not tight and hard to knead the dough. It might seem that the dough is beyond repair if the entire amount is applied, but by gently kneading and scooping up the dough, scraping any sticky bits on the surface and slapping it back down for a few minutes will see the dough start to become 'pillowy' and more manageable.
The more water (the full 250 ml is great) that can be added, the lighter the bread will be. Although some perseverance will be required. Avoid the urge to add more flour, since it will make the dough too thick.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for about 10 minutes by hand or, if using an electric mixer fitted with a dough handle, for five minutes. When pulled, the dough will feel stretchy. Make a ball with the dough to see whether it is ready, then prod a shallow indent in the side (no more than 3⁄4cm) using a well-floured finger. It is ready to form if the indent disappears by way of the dough springing back. Knead for a couple of minutes longer if the indent persists.
Shape the dough into an oval and put it on the baking tray that has been prepared. Flatten it to 30cm long and 20cm wide or so. With oiled clingfilm, cover the dough loosely, making sure it is airtight.
Preheat the oven, to 200C.
Leave the dough for about an hour, or until it has almost doubled in size, in a warm spot. Push holes in the dough with a floured index finger at regular intervals, about 4cm apart in rows around the dough, pushing right down to the rim.
Cut and drive 3 cm of rosemary sprigs into the holes. Sprinkle the dough with some sea salt and put it in the top third of the oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or, when tapped underneath, until the bread is well raised, pale golden-brown and feels hollow.
Remove from the oven, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and leave to cool on the baking tray.
A great accompaniment to this would be olive oil, balsamic vinegar, olives, a cheese platter or a fresh home-made paté.