Focaccia bread

Jonathan Cantelo-Jones and Liesl CanteloJones show us how to make two varieties of this pillowy-soft Italian bread
Focaccia bread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus proving
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 275 ml lukewarm water
  • 450 g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 12 black olives, pitted
  • 6 sun-blushed tomatoes

Tips and Suggestions

Go easy on the olives as they are likely to be high in salt. For more information on healthy eating see eatwell.gov.uk.

Method

1. In a jug, mix the yeast and sugar with 150ml water and allow to stand in a warm place until the surface is frothy.

2. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the yeasty liquid, then gradually add the rest of the water and mix until it comes together to make a dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is silky smooth and springy. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Roughly knead the dough to knock out any air, then divide into two pieces and shape into loaves. Place onto an oiled baking tray and press your fingers into the dough to make indents, then sprinkle the surface with coarse salt and the remaining olive oil and decorate one loaf with the olives and rosemary sprigs. Cover the tray loosely with clingfilm and allow the bread to prove for 30 minutes until doubled in size.

4. Whilst the bread proves, preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Bake for around 20-30 minutes until golden brown. For the sun blushed foccacia, lay the tomatoes over the plain loaf 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Leave to cool, then slice and serve.

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