Rosemary focaccia

Rosemary focaccia

By
From
How to Cook Bread
Serves
10-12
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Focaccia has a characteristic uneven, open texture with large holes. It can be flavoured with various herbs, garlic or grated cheese. This focaccia, moist with olive oil, is perfect to accompany an Italian meal or al fresco lunch. You will need a 30 x 20cm shallow baking tin.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
15g fresh yeast
275-325ml tepid water
450g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
50g semolina
2 teaspoons caster sugar
10g salt
maldon sea salt, for the top
30ml olive oil, plus extra to grease and drizzle
handful rosemary sprigs

For the tin

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons semolina
2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

  1. Put the yeast in a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of the tepid water and stir to dissolve.
  2. Mix the flour, semolina, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Pour in the dissolved yeast, the oil and at least three quarters of the remaining water, using some of it to swill out any yeast stuck in the small bowl. Stir quickly, adding the remaining water if the dough feels a little dry or firm (it needs to be softer than a regular bread dough).
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. If the dough is a little sticky, a dough scraper might be useful for this. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 1–2 hours.
  4. Spread a little olive oil onto the work surface. Turn the dough out onto the oil and fold the lower third up into the middle, and the top down to cover the bottom, like a business letter. Then fold the left side into the centre, and the right side over the left. Flip the dough over so it is folded side down, then cover with the upturned bowl and leave for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, mix the 2 tbsp semolina with the 2 tbsp olive oil, pour this mixture into the shallow baking tin and spread it all over the base.
  6. Repeat the folding again with the dough, then place smooth side up in the baking tin. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and spread it over the dough with your hands. Use your hands to try to encourage the dough to the edge of the baking tin, pressing rather than stretching the dough. If it feels too elastic to stretch to the edges, leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes or so, by which time it should have relaxed enough for it to spread fully to the edges.
  7. Loosely cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size, and if you press the corner lightly with your finger, it leaves only a small indentation. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220°C.
  8. Roughly chop enough rosemary leaves to give you 2 tbsp. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the rosemary and Maldon salt, and make regular dimples by pressing your fingers into the dough firmly.
  9. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes. You may need to turn the focaccia round halfway through cooking to ensure it becomes evenly coloured. It should be well risen, golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. If not, return it to the oven for a few minutes. Remove from the tin to a wire rack to cool, and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.
Tags:
bread
Leiths
baking
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