Focaccia Bread

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Italian Focaccia bread on the menu today. This classic Italian flat bread is a lighter alternative to garlic bread. It combines the great Italian flavours of roasted tomatoes and fresh rosemary.

Focaccia bread is an ideal accompaniment to almost any Italian dish, but works very well when there's lots of sauce to be mopped up!

It's hard to pin down what Focaccia actually means in Italian. It seems to relate to the word 'centre' though. Let me know if you know better!
The recipe will make 2 focaccia breads. Each bread will serve two people.

• 200g of self raising flour
• 1 sweetener
• ½ a teaspoon of salt
• ½ a teaspoon of dried powered yeast
• 2 teaspoons of olive oil
• approximately 100 ml of warm water
• a couple of sprays of Fry Light One Cal Spray Oil
• 10-12 cherry tomatoes. Washed and stalk removed, but left whole
• A small bunch of fresh rosemary. Washed
• A light drizzle of olive oil

  1. Place flour, sweeteners, salt and yeast into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  2. Add the olive oil and add about half the water and mix to form a rough dough. Mix in the centre, drawing the flour from the sides.
  3. Add the rest of the water, one tablespoon at a time and continue to bring the dough together for another minute or so. If the dough is still a bit too floury add another splash of water, if it's looking too wet, add a little more flour.
  4. Flour a clean board or work surface well and tip the dough onto it. Next dust the top of the dough and flatten it out slightly. Knead it gently to bring it together for approximately 5 minutes until the dough has a slightly elastic feel to it.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl or and allow to rest for 1 hour covered with some cling film, sprayed with a little spray oil. The dough should raise slightly.
  6. When you're ready to bake the focaccia, turn the oven to 200°C degrees and line a baking tray with tin foil. Add a couple of sprays of oil to the tin foil.
  7. To prepare the focaccia, dust a clean board or work surface lightly and tip the dough onto it again. Next, using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half.
  8. Next take one of the pieces and roll it into a ball, then flatten it out. Dust with flour again and roll/press the dough flat into an oval or round shape approximately 1 inch thick and place on the lined tray. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  9. Next, using your knuckle or small spoon, make indentations in the dough and add a cherry tomato and one or two pieces of rosemary to the indentation. Drizzle the bread lightly with olive oil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at the top of the oven until golden brown. 
  10. Remove from the oven and serve sliced or alternatively leave in one piece to 'tear and share'. The focaccia can be kept for a couple of days stored in an air tight container like a biscuit tin and eaten cold.

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