This one is really light and fluffy, you can make it plain, or add toppings to it. I make it on nights when I don't know what to cook, but I have to feed the family and treat it like a pizza, it's a bit of a clean out the fridge kind of thing.
The dough is fabulous, it's everything you want in a focaccia. It's crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, the oil gives it so much flavour, I honestly think it's better than take out pizza, and it's so much cheaper, and you can add on anything you like. I use this same dough to make my focaccia with potatoes and everyone loves that one.
If you are adding pesto or chimichurri add it before dimpling the dough and you don't need to drizzle with extra oil as oil is already in both of these. For all other topping, add them after dimpling.
My family is loving my new passion for bread making, give it a try, you will love it.
Makes 1 focaccia
500g white bread flour
420g warm water
6g instant yeast
15g extra virgin olive oil
10g fine sea salt
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Flaky sea salt, to sprinkle
In a large mixing bowl, add the warm water, yeast, honey and extra virgin olive oil. Mix with a wooden spoon. Add in the flour and salt and mix together until you have no dry patches. Sometimes I find using a damp hand, I give the bread 5-6 kneads, just to incorporate the flour better. The dough does not stick to a wet hand.
Cover the bowl with beeswax wraps or plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Now it's time to stretch and fold the dough. Release the dough from the side of the bowl, using a damp hand. This will deflate it. Perform a set of stretch and folds on the dough. To do this, wet your hand, then take a section of the dough furthest from you and stretch it up and fold it onto itself towards you. Rotate the bowl 90° and repeat the process. You need to do a total of 8 stretch and folds. You will get the dough roughly shaped like a ball.
Cover the bowl again and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Repeat the stretch and folds again. After this stretch and fold, using damp hands, gather your dough and place it seam side down into the bowl, so the top is smooth.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1.5 hours at room temperature.
Prepare your 22cm x 33cm baking tray. Put a teaspoon of oil in your tray, spread it around. Scrunch up a piece of baking paper that is cut larger than your tray, unscrunch it and place it in your baking tray, pressing into the corners.
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of oil into the centre of your pan.
Place dough in your prepared pan. Now, oil your hands and fold one side of dough towards the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other side, like folding paper into thirds. The flip the dough so the seam is at the bottom and spin it so that the long ends are parallel with the long sides of the tray.
Let it sit to proof, at room temperature for about 1.5 hours. During this time the dough will puff up and fill up the tray.
When you have 30 minutes left of proofing time, preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan forced. Place your oven rack in the second from the bottom position in the oven.
If you are adding pesto or chimichurri, add it now, dollop it on, as much as you like really, then dimple the dough, no need to drizzle with oil as oil is an ingredient in both. Then continue as per recipe below.
For all plain or any other toppings, drizzle the dough with a little bit of olive oil and dimple it with oiled fingers. Top with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Add olives, rosemary (coat in oil, so it doesn't burn), cherry tomatoes etc, into the dimples.
Place in your oven for about 22 minutes or until your focaccia reaches a deep golden brown colour. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then move to a cooling rack and cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting it.
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