Try your hand at home baked focaccia.
- 350 g wholemeal flour
- 150 g unbleached strong white flour
- 10 g sea salt
- 2 tsp easy bake yeast
- 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil plus a little extra for drizzling over loaf
- 250 g tepid water
- Sift both flours into a large roomy bowl. Add the salt and stir in the yeast. Add the water along with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well until a dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough back into the cleaned and lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place to double in size.
- This should take about 45 minutes.
- When the dough is ready it should be turned out a clean work surface and knocked back to remove most of the air and formed into a ball with a smooth surface. The ball is then placed seam side down and covered with a damp cloth for 15 minutes to rest.
- Uncover the dough and place again onto a lightly floured surface, smooth side down. Using a rolling pin flatten the dough to about 1cm (1/2 in) thickness. You can make the shape rectangular or an oval rustic looking one.
- Place the dough onto a 25cm x 35cm ( 10 in x 14in) baking sheet oiled with extra virgin olive oil and whatever topping you choose. For this recipe I'm using dried Italian herbs.
- Dimple the dough by pushing your fingers into it. This will make little reservoirs for the olive oil you then drizzle liberally over the top.
- Cover the dough loosely with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for the final proving. This should take about 45 minutes.
- Place the bread in the centre of a pre heated oven 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). After 15 minutes turn the heat down to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven and cool on a wire cooling tray.
- This bread freezes well.
- This bread can be topped with whatever you like, eg. Sun-dried tomatoes, olives, sprigs of fresh rosemary, or coarse sea salt, all worth trying.
More by Lorraine Fitzmaurice:
- Muffuletta Sandwich
- Red Cabbage, Apple: St Patrick's Day Alternative
- Layered Spinach And Ricotta Crepes With Sauté Mush