Focaccia is one of those breads that turns something simple into something decadent.
Lashings of olive oil, soaked into fluffy bread with a crisp salty topping, make you want to devour the whole loaf.
• 1 ½ cups warm water
• 2 tsp active dry yeast
• 1 tbs honey
• 4 cups plain flour
• 1 tsp salt
• Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
• 1 cup olive oil
1. Place honey and yeast in a bowl and add warm water, stir and set in warm place for 10 minutes until mixturer is frothy on top and gives a yeasty fragrance.
2. In an electric mixer with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt, then add ½ a cup of oil (save the other half for later) and the yeast mixture. Knead on slow to combine, then medium for 5 minutes, pausing it at the end of every minute for 30 seconds to allow dough to rest. Add more flour if it is really sticky.
3. Empty on to a flour surface and knead by hand for one minute. Coat bowl with oil and return dough to bowl. Cover with a wet tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 1 hour.
4. Pour the rest of the olive oil into a baking tray and roll around to coat (it may look like a lot but this is what makes it special!). Empty the dough into the pan and use your hands to spread out. Then flip it over, stretch it to the corners and using your fingers poke holes into the dough all over the surface.
5. Cover again and set in a warm place for 1 hour to rise a second time. Heat the oven to 170C. When ready to bake drizzle a little more oil over the top and sprinkle with the sea salt. Bake for 25 minutes. You can also add rosemary and olives to the top if you wish.
6. Take from the oven when it's nice and golden brown on top. Let it cool, then rip and eat! So good!By Grant Allen