My dad always used to make his own bread from scratch. Why? Cause he was the coolest! I still remember those super lazy Sunday mornings, hair up in a messy bun and both of us covered in flour from head to toe. I’ve been making homemade bread for years now and I’ve tried so many recipes I think I’m officially an expert. I realise that when it comes to bread baking, a lot of people have some kind of irrational fear. But worry not! As today I will share with you my recipe for a simple, foolproof traditional Italian focaccia.
Although wholemeal and sourdough breads are my absolute favourites, there is something really special about this flat Italian bread. Similar (in both style and texture) to pizza doughs, traditional Focaccia bread is topped with fresh aromatic rosemary and seasoned with fragrant olive oil and salt. Lots of it.
It is the perfect appetiser or side dish to serve with your favourite soup (and as it’s nearly Halloween, try serving it with this amazing Thai Pumpkin soup!.)
Italian focaccia bread
- 250 g strong white plain flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 sachet dried yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200 ml water
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- handful fresh rosemary
- In a large bowl and using a wooden spoon, combine the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 70ml of the water. Form a dough then knead it in the bowl for around five minutes, gradually adding the remaining water.
- Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the centre and repeat for about three minutes, then tip the dough onto a lightly greased work surface and knead for five more minutes.
- Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and tip the dough out of the bowl. Flatten the dough gently, pushing it into the corners, and leave to prove for around one hour.
- Preheat your oven to 220C. Drizzle the dough with a little oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. Take out the oven and drizzle with a little more oil and decorate with fresh rosemary.