Another winner from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake. This focaccia is much easier to make than I anticipated. As with all bread, I find it most relaxing to make it on a day at home, when I am not anxiously watching the timer or waiting for it to rise.
Perfect for a Saturday lunch. It’s difficult to make it last till dinner if you bake it in the day.
I’ve adpated the recipe slightly, omitting the herbs and reducing the quantities of olive oil and water.
500 grams strong white flour
10 grams salt
10 grams yeast
80-100 mils, olive oil
300 mils cool water
fine semolina for dusting
Sea salt (for finishing)
1. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour with salt to one side and yeast to the other. Add 40 mls of olive oil and mix it in. Make a well in the centre and add in about 270 mls of water. Mix well until the water and oil are well incorporated in the dough. You may want to add more water if your dough is a bit dry. What you need is a wet and soft dough. Knead lightly until you get a rough dough.
2. In a large and wide pan or on a clean surface, add some olive oil. Tip the dough onto it and knead well for about 10 minutes. Try not to add any flour. The oil will combine with the dough to give you a smooth and elastic ball of dough.
3. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Put them into an oiled tub or bowl and cover with cling film. Leave for at least an hour until the dough doubles in size.
4. Line 2 baking trays with parchment and grease them well with the oil.
5. Put some more olive oil on your work surface and dust with fine semolina. Now tip one ball of dough onto the surface. Working very gently stretch it to an even and flat (about 1.5 inches high) piece. Repeat this for the other ball of dough.
6. Cover each tray very loosely with cling film and let rest for an hour. The dough will double in size again.
7. Heat oven to Gas 7 (220 C).
8. Push your fingers down in the focaccia all the way to the bottom. This gives you the lovely dimpled surface that you see on a focaccia. Drizzle olive oil generously and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the top is lightly pinkish golden. Tap the bottom of the focaccia. A hollow sound indicates that it is done. Cool on a wire rack.
If you are baking each tray separately, repeat step 8 for each tray.
1. Best eaten fresh. Dip it in olive oil or smother it with butter.
2. You can also choose to sprinkle dried herbs in step 8, along with the salt. You could also add olives or sun dried tomatoes. Embed these in the dough, in step 8.