I have never resisted Italian food and I don’t just mean pasta. There is so much out there and so much yet to explore. Maybe it’s the way Italians make their food or maybe it’s how much love & passion goes into it. But lets not get wrapped up in the Italian love drama. Lets make some food ourselves. Focaccia – despite being quite simplistic, with salt, quality olive oil and some extra ingredients, might just become a highlight of your cook book.
Shall we begin? Presenting to you… Focaccia by Pink Soup!
Oil, Salt & Magic…
Before we start: You can play with any ingredients and any variations, but the dough recipe will stay the same. There isn’t really much action, but you will have to be patient, as the dough needs to proove for quite a bit.
To prepare the dough:
- 500g White strong/very strong flour
- 300g Water
- 7g Yeast (1 sachet)
- Salt (your choice on which type)
To prepare the ingredients (refer to the picture for quantity):
- Handful of fresh basil
- One sprig of rosemary
- Fresh olives
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- Quality olive oil
- Semolina or bread crumbs (optional)
Rest, rest & more rest…
- Make yourself some space for the dough prep. Grab the flour and make a circle out of it (see pic. below).
- In that flour sprinkle some salt crystals or any type of the salt you like. We are using Maldon salt that my sister got me addicted to.
- In a measuring cup with 300ml of luke warm water place a sachet of yeast and mix!
- And now… Pour the water into the circle and gradually push the flour into the middle.
This is quite a messy job, so be prepared for the water to spread and to get stuck in!
The dough starts to become more gooey and sticky. Continue rolling and pressing it with your hands until it becomes smooth and round. You shouldn’t need anymore flour for shaping. It might take you around 5-10min until the dough becomes smooth.
After you’ve finished, place the dough into a bowl, cover it up and leave it to rest for 1 hour in a warm place!
I would open a bottle of wine at this point! Cin Cin!
Imagination has no limits…
1. While your dough is bubbling away, it’s time to prep the ingredients. Remember: focaccia does need quite a bit of oil, so don’t be shy.
Use a pestle and mortar to crush garlic gloves, fresh basil, a pinch of salt and 30ml of olive oil. Set it aside, until we carry on dealing with the dough.
2. Grab a baking tray, oil it up and spread semolina or bread crumbs, as this will give you crunchiness at the bottom. After 1 hour has passed, check your dough. Ready? Good!
3. This time you will have to spread the dough like you would pizza. Instead of rolling, you stretch it. Use your hands, spread the dough in circular motions and then reshape it in the tray.
4. Start placing ingredients on top of the focaccia and add a little bit of extra oil and salt.
5. Add the remaining ingredients on top such as olives, tomatoes, rosemary etc.
6. And now cover it up for another 45min… I did warn you, a lot of waiting!
After 45 minutes, the dough rises and absorbs all the goodness. And now it’s ready to go in the oven!
Pre-heat the oven to 220C (fan assisted) and place the focaccia in for 20-25min.
I think we are done here! So congratulations – you’ve just made a delicious focaccia. It’s very easy to make, it just requires a little bit of patience.
If you have any tips or suggestions or even pics of your own creations, let me know, we are always up for a chat!