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Focaccia

Focaccia

I was watching Jamie Oliver on the TV today and he was chucking everything in the bowl – as he does- and I thought I might go and make something. We only had the crust left of the loaf of bread so i thought i would try and make some bread.  Being late in the afternoon, (not used to daylight saving yet!) to make a loaf might be a bit adventurous so I thought I would try a flat bread and so came a cross a recipe for foccacia.  With my bread making efforts previously a bit well, err, umm, not so good, this seemed easy enough.  Chuck it in the bowl, a la Jamie, mix, knead and wait.  Well it is in the oven now and the smell is divine so go and make some for tea tonight to have with a steak and salad or a nice bowl of soup.

What You Need:

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parmesan cheese

What You Need To Do:

Grab a large bowl, metal or ceramic is better than plastic, and sift the flour and salt together.  Sprinkle in the yeast and the mixed herbs.  I use instant dried yeast, the same as the little packets you get, but it is in a 250g container.  You can get it at the supermarket and just store it in the fridge.  Mix it all together so the yeast and herbs are even throughout the flour.

Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water and the oil.  Mix it all up.  Get your hands in there and knead it for about  (is it sounding Jamie Oliver-ish?!)  3 minutes to form a soft dough.

Place it back in the bowl, cover it with some glad wrap and put it in a warm place for about and hour or so until it doubles in size.  I actually put mine in the office right next to me on the desk because it is quite hot in here with the computer going!

When it has doubled in size you punch it down so it deflates and then knead it for another 3 minutes until it is quite smooth.  I think this is great, any bread I have made has at least 10 minutes of kneading so this is really quick and easy on the arms!

Roll it out to a rectangle shape to fit a tray about 36cm x 26cm and poke a few holes into the dough but don’t go all the way through.  These will catch a bit more of the toppings. Scatter the onion, some more herbs, salt and the parmesan.  I also sprinkled a little more olive oil over the top just to help keep it a bit moist and brown up.

The smell is amazing as it is cooking and you will want to devour it as soon as it is out of the oven!!!