Olive tomato and rosemary focaccia

Since I’ve discovered the joy of baking bread I have been going nuts trying new bread recipes. After 2 failed attempts at focaccia, I was ready to get this one right! I guess third time’s the charm. I was quite worried about how the texture would turn out once I baked it, but I was very happy! It was the perfect chewy salty focaccia we all love!

All the greats say that focaccia is a very forgiving and easy to make bread, but it wasn’t that easy for me! I finally got it right though, so yay! You can top your focaccia with anything you like – balsamic glazed onions, tomatoes and basil, olives, cheese and herbs or just herbs you like – the possibilities are countless! My mouth is already watering so let’s get to it!

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Ingredients

For the dough

2 and 3/4 cups plain flour plus extra for dusting

1/4 fine semolina

1 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

sea salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

warm water as required to knead the dough

For the topping I used

1 tomato – sliced lengthwise

1 small onion – thinly sliced

1/2 cup sliced olives

2 sprigs rosemary

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon paprika powder

sea salt to taste

pepper to taste

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Method

  1. Activate your yeast. Sift in your flour in a bowl, add salt and whisk in. Once the yeast is activated, add yeast, olive oil and water and knead till you get a smooth dough.
  2. Cover with cling film or a tea cloth and set aside to proof overnight.
  3. Once proved, press the dough into a lined baking tray and set aside. I picked this trick up from Gordon Ramsay – before you put your dough in your baking tray, sprinkle some sea salt and olive oil on the bottom. It gives the focaccia it’s characteristic salty, crispy crust.
  4. I make my herb oil infusion and let it rest overnight with dough. Mix olive oil with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and rosemary leave overnight to infuse.
  5. Make depressions with your fingers in the dough and add toppings of your choice. Sprinkle on some sea salt and pepper, season with the herb infused olive oil.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degree celsius for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Enjoy your bread chef!

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How to activate yeast

In a bowl add a tablespoon of sugar and lukewarm water. You should be able to put your finger in the water without burning it. This is also called blood temperature water and is the ideal temperature for yeast to bloom. The sugar is food for the yeast and helps the activation along faster. Stir your yeast in, cover and set aside in a dark, warm place for 10 minutes.

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