Friday, 20 February 2009

Fantastic focaccia bread

Focaccia is a delicious Italian flat bread which can be topped with all kinds of delicious things, herbs, olives or cheese are common toppings and a great place to start. What I really love about focaccia, what makes it really special is the olive oil which is both mixed into the dough and drizzled liberally over the top before baking. This is THE recipe for using that expensive bottle of extra-virgin you've got stashed away in the cupboard, nothing will show off it's flavour quite so well.

For the dough:
350g/12oz Strong white bread flour
200ml warm water
50ml Extra virgin olive oil
One 7g sachet of quick action yeast
1/2 tsp Salt

For the topping you can use whatever you like although the olive oil is essential and the salt highly recommended, I used:
1 Small onion cut into wedges
A handful of black olives, halved
Mixed Italian herbs
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes

To make the Foccacia:
  • Mix the flour yeast and salt together in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and water.
  • Bring everything together to form a dough (it will be quite sticky) knead for a few minutes on a well floured surface (you will need to rub some flour on your hands too, it is sticky!)
  • Cover the bowl with oiled clingfilm and leave to in a warm place to rise for at least 1 1/2 hours but preferably overnight.
  • Once the dough has risen knock it back and press out onto a large baking tray (you could make smaller breads by cutting up first)
  • Pre-heat your oven o gas 6/400f/200c
  • Using your fingers press dimples all over the surface of the dough, this will stop all the olive oil running off.
  • Sprinkle over your toppings, drizzle generously with olive oil (don't be stingy with it!) and sprinkle over some sea salt.
  • Leave to rise again for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes.


mikky said...

i agree... truly fantastic... :)

Joie de vivre said...

Oh this looks fantastic! I assume you use 1.7g of yeast? It looks like 17 grams of yeast on my screen and although I am American and have my grams/oz. detriment, 17 grams seems like a lot? I have a recipe for foccacia that I make occasionally, but it looks no where near as good as yours. I'm switching recipes!

Karen said...

I love focaccia, too and the ingredients you used here (just olives and onions) are my favorite!

pigpigscorner said...

ahh...I've been wanting to try making focaccia for awhile. Yours looks yummy!

Sam said...

Mikky: Thanks, it was good!

Joie de vivre: Sorry if it's not very clear, I meant one (a single) 7g sachet, that's the standard size here. I'm glad you liked it!

Karen: Yeah they're my favourite too, they make great bread!

pigpigscorner: You should give it a go, it really isn't that difficult. You'll get the best results if you make the dough the night before and finish it in the morning.

Beth said...

I've never made it - will have to give it a try

Kadeeae said...

Me too, something I've never tried and it looks like it will be going on the list for next weekend!!

Thanks Sam :-))

Hopie said...

Certainly sounds fantastic. I love the toppings you put on, but it is fun how versatile focaccia is. I'm going to have to make some soon!

Anonymous said...

I love focaccia, too - it's so much fun to dimple the dough and get your hands covered in olive oil! And then the eating part is good, too. :)

Pam said...

It does look fantastic - tasty and pretty too. Great post.

The Caked Crusader said...

Your focaccia has come out great! If only I could conquer my aversion to raw yeast I'd love to have a go at this

Anne said...

Looks great, have done a few breads but not gotten around to focaccia, will have to add to list! :)

Foodycat said...

2 savoury recipes in a row!? Sam are you feeling OK?

gastroanthropologist said...

Love focaccia and I have a great bottle of cold press olive oil that tastes so yummy it will go rancid because I use it so sparingly. Time to go liberal with it and this fantastic focaccia is the perfect way.

Sophie said...

This looks like something I'd also want to dip in olive oil :). Delicious!

Kristen said...

Focaccia is one of the easiest breads to make. This looks wonderful!

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Sophie said...

MMMMM...your foccacio is looking delicious! yummie!

Dazy said...

I'm trying this today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!