Italian focaccia bread is a flat-bread topped with various herbs, olive oil, and baked to perfection. This recipe simplifies the dough making process, step-by-step, utilising the flavour of rosemary and tomatoes. The results are truly amazing.
- 600 g bread flour
- 450 ml warm water
- 20 g caster sugar
- 20 g dried yeast
- 20 g salt
- 20 g olive oil + extra to drizzle
- 7 small plum tomatoes halved lengthways
- fresh rosemary leaves
- Fill a jug with the warm (not hot) water, add the yeast and sugar and stir.
- After a while the water mixture should froth, this is what we want as it means the yeast is activated.
- In a large bowl mix together the flour and salt, then make a well in the middle.
- Pour the foaming water and olive oil into the well in the flour and start to mix together. Once combined it will become a sticky/wet dough.
- Lightly grease another large bowl and transfer the dough into it. Knead the dough in the bowl until it has a smoother texture to it, then cover with cling film and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- Prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan by greasing it with olive oil.
- Transfer the dough from the bowl to your baking pan and gently press the dough and stretch it each corner of the pan. If the dough is too tacky, wet your fingers slightly and this should help.
- Cover the pan with cling film and leave to proof/rise for another 45 minutes.
- The dough should now have doubled in size. Dip your fingers in water and ‘dimple’ the dough by pressing your fingers to the bottom of the pan, working from one end to the other (remember to re-dip your fingers in the water so the dough doesn’t stick to them).
- Cover the pan with cling film again and leave to proof/rise for final 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven 200°C.
- Remove the cling film and sprinkle the rosemary leaves over the top, then lightly press the halved tomatoes into the dough (flat side facing up) and finally drizzle the top of the dough with more olive oil.
- Place in the middle of your oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
- Using a palette knife, carefully pop the bread out of the pan onto a wire rack, drizzle the top with olive oil and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Serve with a side bowl with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in, for dipping.