Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Homemade Rosemary Focaccia

Eldest daughter off sick with a tummy bug so what better time to experiment with new food.  The homemade nettle tagliatelle need some work, but the focaccia was a result.  Especially as I added too much water whilst chatting to Princess which turned out to be a good thing.

Given that this is a wet dough, I recommend you mix/knead this in a food processor or bread machine and handle it as little as possible!

Preparation:  1 3/4 hours
Cooking Time:  20 minutes

Serves 4
250g strong white bread flour
5g dried easy blend yeast
2.5g salt
200g warm water
1tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling
1tsp coarse sea salt
6 inch sprig of rosemary (optional - I remember being bought plain slabs of focaccia from the bakers in Italy when I was a child. There were no other flavours!

Place all the ingredients apart from the olive in your mixer of choice and start mixing slowly.  Add Once the flour and water are incorporated add the olive oil and once this is mixed in increase the speed to a steady kneading action and leave for 10-15 minutes until you have a smooth silky dough.

Once kneaded, oil the inside of a small mixing bowl with your hand and use your oily hand to transfer the dough from the mixer to the oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl and leave to rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

After an hour tip the dough into a shallow baking tray. Push down with your finger tips to knock back the dough and shape it into a rectangle at the same time.  You want to aim for about a 1-2cm thickness across the rectangle.  It fitted perfectly in my cheap 30cmx20cm tray from Sainsburys. Cover with oiled clingfilm for another 30 minutes.

10 minutes before the end of the final proving, turn the oven to 250C or as hot as it goes to preheat.  Just before the focaccia goes in the oven, snip over the rosemary leaves and push your fingertips right down into the down to the bottom of the tray at regular intervals with your fingertips to give it it's characteristic dimpled look.  Drizzle generously with olive oil (but do not drown it) and sprinkle with a good pinch of coarse sea salt.

Bake for 10 minutes at 250C then turn the oven down to 200C and bake for another 10 minutes.  You may wish to turn the baking tray round at this halfway stage to get a good even colour.  Once cooked remove from the baking tray and leave to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Best eaten warm but cold is still good.

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