Rosemary Focaccia

5 Aug

I love the idea of having a kitchen garden. In fact, I love the idea of being able to cook an entire meal out of home-grown produce. At the moment however, my green-fingered expertise is somewhat restricted to some sad looking mint, some dusty thyme, an insect infested parsley plant and for some reason, an enormous bunch of rosemary which is growing like the legs of an adolescent boy going through a growth spurt. I wanted to find something which would use a goodly amount of this wonderful herb, to really make the most of it. I used to make quite a lot of bread when I had more time, or when I was away on holiday with my family in France. Bread is actually incredibly easy to make, and it is a misconception that it is time consuming. It’s actually very quick to make – the only reason it is perceived to take a lot of time is because it needs to be done in stages. But bread isn’t always fussy, the dough is pretty patient – it can hang around for you if you’ve got other things to do.

This is a recipe I found online from taste.com.au but which I have adapted slightly. It turned out really nicely and went down very well at last night’s dinner party.

Recipe

  • 310ml warm water
  • 1 sachet dried yeast (7g)
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 3.5 tbsp olive oil*
  • 450g plain flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp rosemary leaves, washed and chopped finely

*A note on olive oil: I have quite a few varieties of olive oil depending on what kind of flavour I am looking for. The cheaper olive oils are great for use in salad dressings and such, but if you’re looking for a strong flavour to go with something like focaccia (or bread in general), it’s worth finding a really good quality olive oil. I’m lucky as a really good friend of mine is Greek (and also a food-lover!), and the last time she went home she brought us back some delicious and very special award winning olive oil. You can really notice the difference in flavour.

1. Combine water, yeast, 2 tbsp oil and sugar in a bowl and leave in a warm place for about 5-7 minutes (an ideal place is somewhere like an airing cupboard, but if you’ve not got one, put the oven onto a low temperature (30-40C) instead).

2. Place flour and half of the sea salt in a bowl and make a little well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir until everything is well combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together.

3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about ten minutes until it’s nice and elastic, and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it in clingfilm (or a damp tea towel) and leave in a warm place for about 45 mins – 60 mins until doubled in size. I actually left mine for longer than this as I had some errands to run, as I said – dough’s not fussy!

4. When you’re ready, knock the dough back by giving it a good punch with a floured hand. On a lightly floured surface knead again for a couple of minutes until it’s back to it’s original size and nice and elastic. Lightly oil a rectangular baking tin (about 20cmx30cm) and pop the dough onto the tin. Press it out so it’s a bit flatter and starting to resemble more of a focaccia shape. Cover this and leave it in that warm place for another 20 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 200C. Using four fingers of a floured up hand, squish little holes into the focaccia all over. Brush over a good sprinkling of oil, then sprinkle over the chopped rosemary and the rest of the sea salt. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. It is done when it’s nice and golden and if you lift it up out of the tin with a spatula, it should sound hollow when you tap the middle of the base.

6. Take it to the table and brag about how you’ve made your own bread! Serve it with a little dipping olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar if you wish.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: