Sunday, 22 April 2012

Easy Focaccia

This is a nice and easy focaccia bread that takes minimal effort from you, the bread does the rest of the work!

The recipe below is for a plain focaccia bread, feel free to tart it up with whatever takes your fancy.

You could use favoured olive oil to add a different taste, or sprinkle over some rosemary before cooking. Alternatively you could add ingredients to your dough before kneading, such as chopped olives, chopped sundried tomato, chilli flakes or any combination of the above.

Plain Focaccia bread (Hairy Bikers)

makes 1 loaf

500g strong white flour
7g sachet of fast action fried yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil + extra for greasing
300ml warm water

3 tbsp olive oil 
2 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper

Put the flour, yeast, sugar and salt into a bowl. Mix the olive oil and water and add to the dry ingredients. 

Stir with a wooden spoon, then bring the dough together with your hands.

Knead the dough, on a lightly floured surface, for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic and then place into a lightly oiled bowl. 

Cover the bowl with clingfilm, leave in a warm place and allow the dough to rise and double in size  for about an hour.

Lightly oil a large baking tray (I used my brownie tin as my baking sheet does not have suitable sides). Tun the dough onto a floured surface and knock it back. Press the dough into a rectangle roughly the size of your baking tray. Carefully place the dough o the baking tray and ease it out to meet the sides.
Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for a further 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 220/200 fan. After 30 minutes your dough should look light and spongy. Remove the clingfilm  and use your finger to push dimples in the dough, right through to the bottom of the tray. 
Drizzle the olvie oil over the top of the dough, allowing it do trickle into the dimples. Sprinkle your salt and pepper over the dough along with any other toppings as you so wish.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, unti lwell risen and golden brown. 
This bread lends itself to dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or as part of a platter style meal.

We filled it with left over chicken, mozzarella, fesh basil and pesto and put it in a sandwich press to make a divine evening meal.


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