Focaccia time

 

Super speedy to make, inexpensive and delicious, whether it be for lunch, as a snack or to dunk into soup.

I give you my humble focaccia. This is a weekly favourite and staple in our house and in all honesty, I tend to make the dough by quadrupling the ingredient amounts, portioning it up and then freezing it. This makes the entire process much more bearable especially when time isn’t on your side.

I tend to vary my topping to suit what I have available and to hand. My go too tends to be:

  • Halved cherry tomatoes, squeezed and pressed into the dough (cut side faced down), topped with a little oregano, salt, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Halved olives, any colour works, topped with salt and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Sliced peppers, seasoned with salt, marjoram, and a little crushed garlic. Scatter the peppers over the focaccia and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

As mentioned, a focaccia is a wonderful side however this bread makes THE BEST sandwich you will ever eat. Slice the focaccia right through the centre, lengthways, basically opening the focaccia up as you would a book. Spread pesto on both sides of the focaccia and layer the focaccia with your favourite sandwich fillings. I love pesto, cured meat, artichokes, provolone picante or mozzarella and roasted peppers, olives, and basil. A whooper of a sandwich! Close the focaccia book up and press it in a panini press or wrap it in foil and bake for ten minutes of so. Slice and share. The focaccia would make a great base for a vegan sandwich too as we are knee deep in Veganuary…..not forgetting the dough base works also as a standard pizza dough or a stromboli bread too.

 

7g fast action yeast (a sachet)

400ml tepid water

500g 00 flour (pasta flour)

2 tsp salt (I use Maldon)

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Filippo Berio)

 

  1. Add the yeast to the tepid water and stir, this will wake up and activate the yeast for use.
  2. Into a bowl tumble in the flour and add the salt.
  3. Spoon in the olive oil and gradually add in the water mixture. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to form a dough.
  4. Knead the ball of dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes until the dough becomes elastic and smooth.
  5. Cover and allow the dough to prove for 1 hour.
  6. Oil a baking tray, I like to use one that has sides to it, this will help the focaccia retain its shape.
  7. Take the dough and place it onto your baking tray, pushing the dough into position.
  8. Cover with a clean tea-towel and prove for a further 30 minutes.

 

Whilst your dough is proving, take the time to prepare your toppings.

Olives, cherry tomatoes, or peppers as required

Fresh herbs as required

1 tsp rock salt

2 tbsp olive oil for drizzling

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Decorate your focaccia as desired.
  3. Drizzle over the olive oil or use an olive oil spray and lightly spritz the focaccia.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until beautifully golden.