Our household isn’t big on sweet treats, so this flat-ish mostly healthy (definitely in the sense that one controls all ingredients that go into it and is wholly preservative and junk free) flat-ish bread makes for a great snack, or can actually be split down the center to use as sandwich bread. The other great thing about focaccias is that you can flavor them with pretty much anything you feel like. Throw in some diced sun-dried tomatoes, maybe some caramelized onions, whatever. This recipe is for the classic olives and rosemary combo but definitely feel free to explore. I’ve adapted this recipe from the famous Italian cooking site Giallozafferano. Recipe after the jump.
Makes and approx 20cmx35cm loaf. You will need to have a 3ish cm deep baking tray or dish of roughly the above dimensions.
500g of all purpose flour
5g of active dry yeast
1 tbsp of dry rosemary (more for garnish)
Approx 20 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced into 3 rings
120ml of full cream milk
230ml of water
12g of fine salt
16g of sugar
40g of olive oil (a bit more for garnish)
Sea-salt flakes for garnish
Place all the dry ingredients in a stand-mixer bowl with the paddle attachment and mix together on a slow speed for about half a minute. Switch the paddle for the dough hook and on the second slowest speed start mixing and then add the wet ingredients one by one gradually (doesn’t matter in which order). Using a spatula or a wooden spoon make sure that everything on the sides of the bowl are incorporated into the dough. Increase the speed one more notch and leave to mix for a few minutes until the dough comes together as a homogeneous sticky mass (this is a wet dough, so do not expect it to form a distinct dough ball). After about 5minutes of mixing, turn off the mixer, scrape any dough stuck on the hook and cover the bowl with a damp towel or cling film and leave to rise for a couple of hours, until the dough has at least doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, grease your baking tray with olive oil, and tip all the dough onto the tray. Use your fingers to spread the dough all over the tray as much and as uniformly as you can. Cover the tray with cling film and leave to rise again for about an hour. Switch to oven on to 180C about a half hour in. Once the dough has risen again, remove the cling-film and using well oiled fingers, poke the dough to give the focaccia that famous crater-y look. Drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil over the focaccia, about a pinch or two of sea-salt flakes and about a tsp or dry rosemary and then stick in the oven for about 30mins. Check at about 25mins that it isn’t too brown. Once the focaccia reaches that deep golden color and your kitchen smells of ecstasy, it’s time to take the focaccia out, cut into squares and enjoy. Try and wait until it cools down to cut and eat, but I know that with that smell, it’s a very tough ask!