This focaccia is a very nice crusty bread with the lovely aroma of rosemary, delicious eaten warm or as a filled pocket for cold meat. In the space of a week, I have churned out three focaccias and have found that it freezes very well too. It is at the moment our favourite bread for lunch.
As with any specialty bread, one has to be very patient and not try to rush the proving process.
3 Tbsp olive oil
500 gm Elfin high grade flour (bread flour)
2½ tsp Surebake yeast or 16gm fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped (optional)
a few sprigs of rosemary
½ tsp course sea or rock salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1. Breadmaker setting : Dough
2. Place water, oil, bread flour and yeast into the bread pan in the order according to your breadmaker instructions. Mix for 5 minutes or until the ingredients are combined.
3. Pause or switch off the breadmaker to rest the dough for 15 minutes.
4. Add the salt and continue with the 'dough' function. When the bread maker beeps for 'addition', add in the chopped rosemary.
5. Cover the breadpan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
If not, leave in a warm place to rise until double in size (this will take about 1-2 hours).
6. Tip your dough out onto an oiled baking pan. Press and pull dough lightly with your oiled fingertips to cover the base of the pan. (the dough will be sticky). I used my roasting pan which measures 36cm x 30cm.
7. Cover and let rise until double (this will take another 1-2 hours depending on room temperature).
8. Preheat oven to 220°C. Just before baking, use your oiled fingertip to form dimples about 1cm deep at regular intervals on the surface of the dough leaving visible indentations. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt. Drizzle olive oil over the dough.
9. Place the pan in the preheated oven. Spray the oven walls with a water sprayer to create steam. Do it 3 times during the first 10 minutes of baking (the steam makes the crust very crunchy and crispy). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
10. Remove and place on a rack to cool. Best eaten while still warm.
1. I find misting the oven to create steam with a sprayer bottle is easier and more effective than throwing ice cubes or leaving a bowl of water in the oven. The outside of the bread was crunchier using the spray bottle.
2. Leaving the dough to overnight and prove in the fridge is a real time saver and ensures you will have plenty of time to get the bread ready by lunch time. There have been talk that bread actually taste better with the overnight proving in the fridge.
Update 5 June 2011 : I have been able to get hold of some fresh yeast. If using fresh yeast substitute surebake yeast with 16gm of fresh yeast. I have found that the dough rise much faster using fresh yeast.
This is a short 1:45 minute video on the making of this Italian flat bread. Crank up the volume to enjoy the music of Duel by Bond.
Updated on 13.11.07 with a video.