Focaccia

Homemade focaccia consists of a few basic ingredients that produce a delicious, fluffy bread. Great for sandwiches or dipping in soups and stews. Or enjoy it all on its own. It’s that good!

Focaccia | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Whoop, whoop I’m going on holiday this weekend! Iain and I are off to Morocco for two weeks and I can’t wait. It’s going to be sunny and warm and so incredible. I can’t wait to stuff myself full of tagines and drink all the mint tea. I’m also looking forward to the culture shock. Most of the travelling I’ve done since living in the UK is to different European countries and they all have incredible history and cultures of their own, but a lot are very Westernised. I’m hoping Morocco is going to be a complete shock to my system in the best way possible!

Focaccia | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

And because I don’t want you guys to miss me too much, for the very first time in my blogging career, I’m going to schedule some posts. I have two lined up for the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed they work! There are a couple of awesome recipes coming your way, so get excited.

Focaccia | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

So, onto today’s recipe. You may have heard of it. You may even have tried it. In fact, I’m going to hazard a guess that most people have eaten it before. It’s pretty common, so I don’t know why I’m making it out to seem really exotic. It’s name is Focaccia and it is an awesome Italian yeasted flatbread. I’ll let you in on a little secret as well. Every time I write it down, I write foccacia. I get those pesky Cs mixed up every single time.

Focaccia | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Regardless of how you spell it, focaccia is awesome! Italian breads are typically quite dry and full of holes, but not the focaccia. It’s like a super thick pizza dough without all the toppings. It’s simply topped with olive oil, sea salt and a pinch of rosemary, but it’s full of flavour. It makes a great sandwich and is perfect for guests to nibble on while waiting for their main course (how very restaurant-y you would seem!) or you can serve it as a side to dip in soups and stews. So many freaking possibilities. I’ve got three huge pieces sitting in my freezer with my name on it for when we get back from Morocco. I’m looking forward to it already (admittedly not as much as I’m looking forward to Morocco itself, but it’s a pretty close second!).

Focaccia | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Focaccia

Prep Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups plain flour
1 (7g) sachet instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra 3-4 tbsp for drizzling and greasing
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and reserved
1-2 tbsp sea salt/kosher salt

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine plain flour, yeast and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in warm water and 3 tbsp olive oil. Use a butter knife to mix ingredients together. Once it has formed a shaggy dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth, soft and stretchy.
  2. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and place dough into bowl. Cover with cling film and set aside until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Brush a large rimmed baking tray (I used 39cm x 27cm) with olive oil. Roll dough out to about the size of the baking tray, and transfer to tray. Brush with olive oil, then set aside for 30 minutes to rise.
  4. Once risen, use your fingertips to press deep holes into dough, then drizzle (not brush) 1-2 tbsp of olive oil over the dough and sprinkle with rosemary leaves and sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes, until dough is firm to touch and cooked through. Brown under the grill (broiler) for 2-3 minutes if cooked but still pale on top. Remove from oven/grill, drizzle with more olive oil and allow to soak up before serving.

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