foccacia bread recipe

posted in: Recipes | 0

 

For the purists out there, maybe this isn't proper Focaccia bread,  but I tell you what it is absolutely delicious.  It's taken some time to get the cooking right, but I get brilliant results every time now.   As with all of our recipes this is enough for 2-3 people

 

Ingredients:  Strong White Flour ( ie bread making flour), 1/2 packet of instant dried yeast, extra virgin olive oil,  black olives ( optional)k, fresh rosemary, black pepper, salt, grated dried parmesan / hard cheese.  Mixed dried herbs.

Pre-heat an oven to 25C, then turn off ( and it stays off until the final cooking), and keep door closed. In the top of the oven put a clean baking tray to warm ( I like one with raise edges on it, about an inch, so the bread will have room to rise whilst cooking.

 In a large mixing bowl add  2 large cups of white flour, 1/2 a packet of the dried yeast, grind of black pepper,  desert spoon of the dried cheese,  desert spoon of mixed dried herbs.  Mix up well, putting plenty of "air" into the flour. 

Add a small pour of Olive oil, then 1/2 cup of  tepid water, and mix so that a all the flour is combined into a dough – not runny, but not so it still looks dry.

On a clean surface dust with flour, and flour your hands.  Then knead the dough – pushing it out with the palms of your hands, then squashing it back up, then pushing out again.  Add a bit of salt at this stage, and continue kneeding the mix.,    You should end up with a nice springy ball of dough.   Clean the mixing bowl out, dry it, sprinkle some flour in the bottom and put the dough ball in the bowl. Cover with a teatowl and place in the warm oven, and leave to rise for 45 mins – 1 hour.

When the bread has at least doubled in size, and spread out into a dome in the bowl, take out the baking tray, and rub it all over with a bit of Olive oil, then lightly sprinkle some flour all over.   Take the dough out, and push it down so it cover virtually the whole base of the tin (  so  the bread is about 1/4" thick all round).  Then over the top of the baking tray place a wire tray, and cover with the teatowl, then back in the oven for 45 mins, and it should double or treble in height.

 

After the 45 mins CAREFULLY take out the tray and bread, and gently rub with olive oil all over, if you want making slight indentations with your fingers. Sprinkle generously with fresh rosemary leaves chopped roughly,  and some Olives chopped into 1/2s,  maybe some chopped garlic, and then sprinkle all over with a grinding of sea salt.   Whilst you're doing this try not to collapse the bread too much.   Cover again, and back in the oven for 30 mins.

Finally take out the bread gently, leave covered up,   and pre-heat the Oven to 180C ( ours is fan assisted electric oven),   then put the bread in and cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the bread is browning gently on top and when you tap it sounds hollow and firm.   Take the bread whole out of the tray, and cool on a rack for 5 mins.    Then cut it into big strips,  if it's not properly cooked you can always put it back in the oven for 5 mins.