Focaccia is a great Italian leavened flatbread, which is easy to make and tastes terrific. Often thought to be the same as, or similar to Pizza due to it’s shape and the fact that it’s always topped with something, with Focaccia, the focus is really on the bread itself and not on the topping.
You can top focaccia with just about anything you like, but try & keep it simple. The most simple option is to sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, but you could use herbs, mushrooms, olives, onions – anything that takes your fancy.
When cooked, the focaccia should be nice and light, and can be eaten on it’s own or as an accompaniment
Makes 2 flatbreads, approx 25 cm * 30 cm each
- 750g White Bread Flour
- 1 sachet of Yeast
- 1 scant tsp Salt
- 100 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 350 ml Warm Water (not too hot – body temperature)
- Olive oil, sea salt and any topping of your choice
- Sift the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl and make a well in the centre
- Pour in the oil and warm water and mix well – initially use a fork but get stuck in with your hands
- Turn the roughly mixed dough out onto a board or work surface. They’ll be plenty of unmixed flour, but don’t worry.
- Start to knead the mixture, working in as much flour as possible. Add extra warm water, a couple of tablespoons at a time until all of the flour has been incorporated and you have a stiff dough. Continue to knead for another 10-15 minutes until you have a dough of consistent texture
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for about 2 hours, somewhere warm (such as an airing cupboard
- Oil a couple of baking trays, and taking half of the dough, drop onto one of the trays
- Using your hands, push the dough out from the centre to form a shape of the tray. Try to keep a consistent thickness. The final dough should be about 1 cm thick. Repeat the the other half of the dough.
- using your fingers, make dimples into the surface of the bread. This is very important and characteristic of focaccia – the dimples collect the oil and toppings. Leave the bread to rise again for 15 minutes
- Sprinkle the bread with any simple toppings you wish. Finish with a generous sprinkling of olive oil and sea salt
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200ºC for 20-30 minutes, turning ever 10 minutes or so. In the bottom of the oven place a bowl of water to keep the humidity high and stop the bread from drying out. The bread is ready when it turns golden brown
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately!