I made this two days in a row now and my family are crazy for it. As soon as it hits the oven the aromas that waft through your house are truly amazing.
And did I mention how easy it is. It really is so simple to make. This is the best bread I have ever made.
This one rises a little so that you can actually slice it in half and make a thin sandwich out of it. Last night my husband actually split the leftover focaccia and made grilled toasties out of them, and can I say it was the best toastie I have ever had. The bread was sensational.
Now I never knead by hand as it is so much easier to do it in my freestanding mixer that has a dough hook attachment. If you don't have one, you will need to knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
So if you have never made bread, give this a go, it will not disappoint. I know I'll be making this again and again.
7g active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 - 4 1/2 cups plain bread flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
olive oil, for greasing
In a large bowl of an electric mixer add the yeast, sugar and 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water. Stir together, then leave for 15 minutes for the yeast to activate, you will know when it is ready as it will look foamy.
Lightly grease a large bowl with some of the extra olive oil. Add the dough to the bowl, turn it about so all the dough has a light coating of oil. Cover with cling film and place in a warm spot for 1 hour so that the dough can rise, it needs to double in size.
Now grease (with extra oil) a 26cm x 40cm baking tray. You need just enough oil to completely cover the base. Now with lightly oiled, or lightly floured hands, press the dough into the baking tray. Keep pushing it out until it covers the base of the tray (and stays there). Spread it out evenly.
Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan forced. Set your oven rack into the centre of the oven.
Cover loosely with cling film and allow to rise again (slightly) for 30 minutes.
Now using ever so slightly flour dusted fingers, press the dough with your fingers all over to make little cavities. Using your hands, scatter over your garlic and rosemary mixture and all of the oil, gently spread it around to cover the top of the dough.
Sprinkle all over with the coarse sea salt.
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