I love making Focaccia first thing on a Saturday morning, especially if I’ve friends or family coming round at any time over the weekend. Cut up into these little finger buffet size pieces they go perfectly with my low fat dips. You could call them “Focaccia Dippers”! This sharing bread is actually pretty easy to make and I don’t use my stand mixer at all for this. Sometimes it’s just good to get your hands right into the dough mixture and properly knead the bread the good old fashioned way.
The bread will keep fresh for the weekend if covered and wrapped thoroughly in cling film with only pieces cut off it when needed. Don’t put it in the fridge or it will go quite hard quickly. Freeze what you do not need. It can be easily taken out of the freezer and re-heated in your oven at a future date.
[recipe title=”Focaccia” servings=”to share” total time= “4hrs”]
500g strong white bread flour
7g instant yeast
300ml warm water
100ml olive oil
100ml warm water with 30g sea salt dissolved in it
1) Mix the flour, yeast, salt and water together in a large mixing bowl to form sticky dough.
2) Add the olive oil, mix together and tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and silky. About 10 minutes.
3) Shape the dough into a round, coat it with a little extra olive oil and then put it back into the mixing bowl, covered with cling film for 2 hours.
4) Lightly grease a baking tray and tip the dough into the centre of the tray, flatten it with your hands and push it out, so that it covers the whole tray with an equal thickness. Cover with a plastic bag and leave for a further hour.
5) 20 minutes before the hour is up, pre-heat your oven to 230c Fan.
6) After the hour is up brush the top with the salty water, careful not to soak the bread, and then drizzle all over with a little olive oil.
7) Bake for approximately 25 minutes, in the centre of your oven, until the Focaccia is golden brown and then remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.
This is the basic Focaccia. You can add all sorts of things to it to your taste. Add black olives and chopped fresh basil leaves into the dough before you bake it, or even top with some ripe fresh tomatoes. All in all, when baking this bread it makes your kitchen smell fantastic!