Easy Focaccia Bread
An easy to make bread based on the ancient Roman flat bread. Topped with olive oil, sea salt and fresh rosemary.
Servings: 1 loaf (36cmx25cm) or (14x10 inch)
For the bread
- 500 grams strong white bread flour (3 and 1/4 cups)
- 7 grams fast action dried yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + extra for greasing
- 300 millilitres warm water (1 and 1/4 cups)
For the topping
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flaked sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary
- 10 tiny sprigs fresh rosemary
Put the flour yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir.
In a jug mix the oil and water together and pour it into the flour mix.
Mix then knead for 10 minutes if doing it by hand. If you are using a stand mixer and dough hook you only need to mix for 5 minutes. You are looking for your dough to be smooth, pliable and soft.
In a lightly oiled bowl place your dough in it and cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to rise for about an hour. You want it to double in size.
Lightly oil a baking sheet measuring 36cm x 25cm (14x10 inch).
Once doubled in size turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back with your knuckles. Press the dough into a rough rectangle about the size of your baking tray. Then carefully place it on your baking tray and ease it out towards the edges so it covers the whole sheet.
Cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film (plastic wrap) and leave it for 30 minutes so it will slightly rise and go all puffy.
Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F / Gas mark 7.
After 30 minutes the dough will look all puffy and spongy. Lightly oil your index finger and poke holes all the way down to the baking tray all over the top of the bread.
Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the top of the bread, allowing some to pour into the dimples. Sprinkle the sea salt, black pepper and chopped rosemary all over the top.
Take your 10 mini sprigs and randomly stick them in your dough.
Pop the bread in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and a deep golden brown. This bread is best served warm.
Kept in an airtight tin this bread will keep for maximum 3 days. I recommend popping it in the oven for a few minutes before serving up after the first day.