Sunday, 3 June 2012

Focaccia

We have guests at our house for this bank holiday, so last night we made a fancy dinner. For starter we had baked camembert (which I have wanted since my visit to Dough) and home-baked focaccia bread. Which was fantastic!! I am a big fan of cheese and fresh bread so for me there is no better combination. But if it could get any better it would have been the array of oils and vinegars that we had as dips on the side; truffle oil, chilli oil, herbed oil, balsamic vinegar and balsamic syrup. Yum yum yum :). 

If you've never made it before focaccia is such an easy bread to make, you don't need to leave it to raise for days and days and you only need 4 ingredients for the basic dough. Well if you do it this way. As I have said before there is probably a better and more culinary correct way of making this however this recipe works well for me.


I have made you a little step by step picture guide to making focaccia but before you start I should warn you that the whole process takes about 2 hours. So if your making it for a dinner party you need to start 2 hours before you want to serve it, that is if you want to serve it hot out of the oven.

What you will need:

  • 450g Plain Flour (nothing fancy, just the ordinary type);
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil;
  • 2-3 tsp Dried Yeast;
  • 1 tsp Sugar;
  • 250ml Warm Water (not too hot though); and
  • What ever you want for your topping, I made rosemary on half and caramelised onions on the other half.

Ok, what you need to do first is pop the sugar and yeast into the warm water, give it a good stir and leave it to froth for 10 Minutes. Until it looks something like this:








Once its gotten a nice bit of froth on top, put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in it then pour in the olive oil and yeast mix:



 Then with a spoon mix the liquid into the flour to make a rough dough. When you have formed a rough dough turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead your heart out:


You can even try a bit of one-handed kneading:


Skills... Anyway, once the dough is smooth and elasticy, put it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave somewhere warm for an hour until this:

 Becomes this:











While the dough is raising, you can go and relax, you can put your face on (like I did) or you can prepare your toppings for the dough (which I also did). I love anything caramelised so I put caramelised onions on half. I was going to put goats cheese on it too but I thought there was already going to be enough cheese with the camembert. On the other half I used rosemary, for those who don't like sugary, tangy, awesome onions.

If your using herbs rub them with a bit of olive oil, it will make them all lovely and crispy but not burnt when you bake them. 




To make caramelised onions: finely slice half a red onion and fry it in pan with 1 1/2 teaspoons of light brown sugar and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Fry until they get really dark and sticky. A bit browner than in this picture:


When the dough has risen for an hour, turn it out into a baking tray and push out to fill the tray. Please, please ensure that you line the tray with oiled greaseproof paper (baking paper) otherwise it sticks and its a nightmare to get out of the tray! Then pop it back in the warm place to rise for a further 20 minutes in the tray. (I promise that all the rising left to do.) The size it rises to will be the size it is when it bakes so you if in doubt leave it for another 10 minutes. 

Pre-heat your oven to 180C (for a fan oven). When the focaccia's risen drizzle with a bit of olive oil, poke a few dents in it with your finger, and cover in your chosen toppings. 



Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then enjoy :) (watch out it might be hot).



18 comments:

  1. This is beautiful, and you make it look so easy! My husband and I will be trying your focaccia this weekend for a wine and cheese party. Keep up the great blog and recipes!

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    1. I'm glad you like it, you will have to let me know how it goes and what you decide to put on as a topping.

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