Foccacia feast

Well, we can't always eat cake. Sometimes, something savoury is called for and I couldn't believe how easy it was to make a slab of focaccio foccacio focaccia yourself. Certainly easier to make than it is to spell.

This recipe is an adapted version of one promoted by Kenwood, of the mixer fame, but you can easily make it by hand. I like to rip off a chunk of still-warm bread and dunk it into a boiling hot, tomatoey soup, of my dad's recipe, post coming soon. It's perfect for the current getting-colder-by-the-day evenings. 

This makes enough for between four and six people,depending on hunger and what you're having with it.

Here are the main ingredients, with some options underneath for things you might like to put in your focaccio, but keep it simple if you prefer. You'll need to get started a couple of hours before you want to eat the bread, as it needs time to rise.

    500g (1lb 2oz) strong plain bread flour
    1 sachet easy blend dried yeast
    pinch of sugar
    salt and pepper
    4 tbsp olive oil

    Options for additional ingredients:

    2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme and/or rosemary
    1 sliced red onion
    50g (2 oz) sliced chorizo, cut into quarters
    175g (6 oz) cheese - Dolcelatte or Mozarella work well: slice them into small chunks
    225g (8 oz) sun-dried or cherry tomatoes

  • Mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, 3 tbsp of olive oil, plus any herbs and 250ml (9 floz) of luke warm water. If you've got a breadmaker or Kenwood-style mixer, now is the time to fit the dough hook and mix until first a soft dough forms, then it's well kneaded. If you're doing it by hand, think of your most stressful parts of the day, and get kneading.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film, and leave in a warm place for about two hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Meantime, prepare your extra ingredients if required. e.g if using chorizo or red onion, or want fried tomatoes or mushrooms, you'll need to fry them for a few minutes. Chop any cheese or herbs you want to sprinkle on top.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, break it into two balls, and roll each into a circle of about 30cm, or 11in - imagine a full-size ruler. 
  • Heat the oven to 200°C
  • Place one circle on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Add any toppings you want inside the bread - certainly cheese is better inside than on top. Brush the edges with water and place the remaining circle of dough on top, pinch edges together to seal. 
  • Push your thumb into the dough to create some dimples, and scatter any desired sundried tomato, rosemary or other herb sprigs deep into the dimples (not the onion yet, it will burn). Season with pepper and salt. Drizzle over that remaining oil. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. 
  • Scatter over the chopped red onion and bake for another 5 minutes. The loaf is cooked when you tap the base with your knuckle and it sounds hollow. And your home smells delicious too.


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