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Focaccia

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 3 Biggish Round

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 kg Wite flour Italian 00 if you have it, strong white or a mixture of 50% strong white and 50% plain white to approximate 00
  • 600 g Warm water
  • 10 g Dry yeast Or 20 g fresh yeast or 5 g instant yeast, in which case you may as well use the whole package which is 7 g
  • 2 tablespoons   Olive oil
  • 10 g Salt

For the top:

  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt  Big flakes
  • and then  options   Including herbs (rosemary, sage)
  • Thinly  sliced onions  Or shallots
  • Sun  dried  Tomatoes

Instructions

  • Proof the yeast if necessary and then knead all the ingredients together for a good 10-15 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a bowl and cover it.  Let rest until doubled in bulk (1-2 hours depending on heat in the kitchen)
  • Turn it out and either leave as one blob for a big focaccia or cut it into equal pieces for smaller ones.  You will need baking trays/forms with sides at least 2 inches high at this stage.
  • Give the pieces (or piece) a good knead on a lightly floured board and then flatten into your baking tray (s).  Cover witha  damp cloth and let rest for 30 minutes
  • Take the cloth off and dimple the dough vigorously with your knuckles or fingertips.
  • Cover and let rise for 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.  It should reach the tops of the sides of the pan.  It will not, therefore, be 4-6 inches high.  Rather 1.5-2 inches high.  You get a much better crispy oily top to lucious, smooth dough that way.  Not too oily, not too dry, not too high.
  • Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 230 degrees.
  • Brush the top of the dough lavishly with olive oil and sprinkle salt, herbs and anything else you want on top just before you put in the oven.  Spary a few times with water or even salt water if you like in the first 10 minutes of baking.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes.  Don’t let it burn or go dry but don’t let it be doughy either.  When it is a deep gold it will be done.
  • Turn out immediately onto a drying rack so the bottoms don’t go all soggy and eat straight away.  This really does not keep well.
  • If you would like to try this among friends with some supervision, why not take a class?  Virtuous Bread is offering focaccia classes throughout the summer!  Click here for information.