28 April 2012

Foccacia Bread

We had friends over for a barbeque last week and to complement the grilled meats and salads I'd put together, I made fresh foccacia bread. Served warm straight from the oven, it was a fabulous complement, delicately fragrant, and deliciously tasty. I can and have eaten a half loaf of this bread standing in the kitchen having just pulled it out of the oven.

You can top a foccacia bread with whatever toppings you fancy - olive oil, is of course, compulsary. I'm a big fan of coarse sea salt and fresh rosemary, and if I'm organised, I roast a garlic bulb in the oven while the bread is cooking and then squeeze the garlic all over the freshly baked hot bread - yummmmm!

Foccacia Bread

  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (plus extra if needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Topping
  •  1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  •  1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • olive oil to drizzle (about 2 tablespoons)

  • Method

    1. Mix the warm water and sugar together, sprinkle yeast on top and stir briefly. Set aside for 5 minutes until yeast is activated and starting to froth.
    2. In a bowl, mix together flour and salt, add olive oil and yeast mixture and stir together. Turn onto a floured bench and pull together and start to knead. Add more flour if the mixture is too sticky. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. (I'm going to be honest, I pop mine into my mixer with a dough hook and let it do the kneading for 10 minutes)
    3. Pop the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave for 1 hour in a warm place to rise.
    4. Punch the dough down, roll into a oblong, pop onto a baking tray and stretch to fit the tray, poke holes in the dough and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and rosemary over the top and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
    5. Bake at 200 degrees celcius (400 degrees fahrenheit) for 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Serve warm if possible.

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