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This classic Italian bread can be flavored with just about any savory ingredient found around the Med. We prefer just the taste of the bread, a little sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Foccacia goes very well with stews, anti pasta dishes and also makes great sandwiches.
- 650g strong flour
- 10g dried yeast (we recommend Doves Farm Quick Yeast)
- 10g salt
- 550ml water
- About 6 tablespoons of olive oil
Preparation Time: 5 hours
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
- Weigh out the flour, yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl. (If your yeast needs activating in water, follow the instructions on the packet and subtract whatever water you need to use from the 550ml water listed above. Then add it with the rest of the water in stage 2.)
- Mix them together, then pour in the water and stir until it has all come together.
- Cover it with cling-film/plastic-wrap and leave it to prove at room temperature for about 1 hour 30 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
- Pour the dough (yes, pour the dough) onto a floured work surface.
- With floured hands stretch the dough and fold one third over the middle.
- Fold the other third over the first fold.
- Carefully flip the dough over so the seem is now underneath.
- Leave the dough to rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes) covered either with a floured cloth or oiled cling film/plastic wrap.
- Repeat this step twice, (this develops the gluten in the flour which is needed if you want those big characteristic holes throughout the loaf).
- Oil a sturdy baking tray that is not likely to buckle in the oven with vegetable oil. Lift the dough onto the tray and stretch the dough into the corners being careful not to tear the dough. Shape your hands into the form of a spider and make indents into the dough on the tray. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and leave to rise very loosely covered with well oiled cling film/plastic wrap.
- Heat the oven to 200°c.
- When the dough has doubled in size and is puffy, carefully remove the oiled cling film/plastic wrap. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the surface of the dough, then place it into the oven and bake it for 45 minutes.
- Leave the foccacia on the tray when it comes out of the oven until it has cooled to room temperature. Then slice and serve.
- You could try studding the foccacia with olives, slices of bell pepper, anchovies or even cooked artichokes before it goes into the oven.