MAKES 1 x 20 BY 25CM LOAF | PREPARATION TIME: 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES | COOKING TIME: 25 MINUTES
We've been supplying both our olive oil and halloumi cheese to Woosters Bakery in Bury St. Edmunds for many years now. If you've ever tried their delicious foccacia bread, now you know why it tastes so good! Simon Wooster says: “Focaccia comes in many variations and styles, but cold-pressed olive oil is the key ingredient in these classic Italian bakes. This recipe makes a light, bubbly and open-textured bread thanks to the high water content, so a food mixer with a dough hook is handy if you have one.” INGREDIENTS
300g strong bread flour
½ a sachet of dried instant yeast
5g fine salt
230g tepid water
Sea salt flakes
Small bunch of fresh rosemary, leaves picked METHOD
Mix the flour, yeast and salt together, then add about 200g of the water. Knead into a dough then gradually add the remaining water. It will seem impossibly wet, but persevere until the very soft dough is smooth and shiny.
If you are kneading by hand, it pays to knead for 5 minutes and then let it rest for 10 minutes, repeating until the dough has developed. If you’re using a food mixer, gradually add the water on medium speed and then mix fast for a few minutes. When you hear the dough slapping against the mixing bowl, it’s ready. Using the dough function on a breadmaker will also work, providing you still add the water gradually: start with 200g and add the remaining 30g half way through the kneading cycle.
Oil a non-stick baking tray; one at least 3cm deep and roughly 20 by 25cm will suit this recipe. Tip your dough into it, pushing into the corners until it’s a roughly even depth all over.
Leave it to rise for 1 hour, then preheat the oven to about 215°c/195°c fan/Gas Mark 7 to 8. Drizzle the surface of the dough with olive oil. Push your fingertips firmly into the dough to create dimples – these will fill up with the oil – and then sprinkle the focaccia with the sea salt flakes and rosemary leaves according to taste.
Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Once done, lightly drizzle your focaccia with more olive oil, then cut into squares and serve.