I saw the Hairy Bikers make this during their Bakeation, when they went to Venice. I’ve eaten it tons of times and am a huge fan. The last time I tried to make focaccia though, it turned out so badly that I had to turn it into panzanella.
I think we may have a winner this time around.
It’s actually really easy – in terms of equipment, all you need is a flat working surface, baking tray and mixing bowl.
It also takes about an hour to prove in total, so you’ll need about 1.5 hours to do this.
So here it is!
Makes 1 loaf
500g white flour, plus a little extra for kneading
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp fine salt
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for kneading and proving
300ml warm water
Dried rosemary (or fresh if you have it)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp ground pepper
For the dough, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, yeast, sugar and salt)
In a mug, mix together the olive oil and warm water and give it a good stir to make sure they mix as much as possible.
Mix the dry ingredients together in the large bowl, then add the olive oil/water mix and form it into a rough ball.
Tip this onto a lightly-floured surface and knead it for about 5-10 minutes. The longer you knead, the softer it becomes so keep it going! I was doing this while watching TV and wound up kneading for about 20 minutes!
Add a little olive oil to the mixing bowl and tip the dough back into it. Cover with an oiled piece of cling film.
Ideally, this will need to prove in a warm place. A little tip I’ve found is by turning the oven on. The oven needs to be pre heated to 22oC, so keep the oven on, door closed. If you rest the dough on a chair just outside the oven door, that’s warm enough to prove and gives the oven plenty of time to get warm enough.
Leave it outside the oven to prove until the dough has doubled in size.
When it’s doubled, knock it back down and knead for about 5 more minutes.
Stretch the dough using your hands and fit it to a greased baking tray, making sure you stretch it to all corners.
Cover again with the oiled piece of cling film, and leave it to prove outside the oven for another 30 minutes.
When it’s proved, use two fingers and poke dimples across the entire dough.
Drizzle the 3 tbsp olive oil across the top of the focaccia, then drizzle the dried (or chopped fresh) rosemary, sea salt flakes and ground pepper.
Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes, then leave it to cool for a bit before tucking in!
It’s best with really simple ingredients so you can really get the fresh flavour and relish your special homemade creation!