Thursday, 24 July 2014

FABULOUS FOCACCIA



My growing adventures into bread making continues today with this gorgeous recipe for a stunning focaccia that is a great way to use that pizza stone you bought for your homemade pizzas. Crispy, salty and punctured with fresh herbs, it makes a stunning centre piece to a meal as well as being truly scrumptious. The pizza stone will give your focaccia a delightful crispy base that is so crunchy and satisfying when you bite into it. A greased lined baking tray will work too, the layer of polenta you sprinkle over the tray will still give the base a nice bite.


As with many breads out there you will need to proof your bread twice during preparation so if you are planning to make this as part of a stunning meal then make sure you prepare your dough first. That way you can crack on with the rest of your prep whilst your dough is rising.

Get you kneading hands on and whip up a focaccia to really put that wow factor onto your dinner table tonight.

Focaccia

 500g Strong White Flour
  10g Dried Active Yeast
10g Fine Salt
Approximately 150ml Olive Oil
  Handful Or Two Of Polenta
Hand full Coarse Sea Salt
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
  Handful Fresh Rosemary Sprigs




  1. Mix together the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
  2. Make a well in your flour mix and gradually pour in 40ml of the olive oil and 105ml cold water mixing as you go until you have formed a quite sticky dough ball. You can use a mixer with a dough hook for this if you wish. 
  3. Use some more olive oil to grease your work surface and tip the dough ball out onto it. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough comes together. Try not to use any more flour to bringthe dough together, be patient and use smidges of oil if the dough persistently sticks. It will come together in time.
  4. Place in a slightly greased bowl and loosely cover with film. Leave to proof at room temperature for 1 hour. If you are using a pizza stone this is the time to place it in your oven and heat at 220 degrees (200 fan) so its ready in time for the bake.
  5. After 1 hour, take a piece of baking paper just slightly bigger than the size of your pizza stone or baking tray and grease. Sprinkle with the polenta to coat the paper in a thin layer singlelayer. This will add crunch to the base and stop it sticking to the paper as well.
  6. Your dough should of doubled in size by now. Gently tip it out onto the paper. Try not to knock the air out whilst you stretch the dough out gently with your hands until it is the size of your stone or tray but slightly smaller than the paper. Leave the dough to proof again for another hour under a piece of loose cling film at room temperature.
  7. After the hour, take your dough and use your finger to make small dimples in the dough. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinklethe coarse sea salt and oregano over the dough before placing small sprigs of the rosemary in alternative dimples.
  8. Carefully remove your pizza stone from the oven and transfer the dough on the paper to the stone (or baking tray if using). Place in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes until the top is golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped. 
 For a final flourish at the table, drizzle some more oil and sprinkle a smidge more of the coarse sea salt over the top just before slicing and serving to your guests. It will add a little bit more theatre for your fellow diners.

It truly is a fabulous focaccia and one you will make over and over again. It's so much tastier than shop bought and a lot less expensive too.

Viva la Focaccia!



 

3 comments:

  1. Yum, I LOVE focaccia! Looks great...

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  2. Oh, I do love a good focaccia! I usually top mine with halved cherry tomatoes and sliced red onions marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, then top with crumbled blue cheese. It is delicious, and I can feel a blog post coming soon on that one... :)

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