Bake a batch of Mediterranean culture with Tom Kitchin’s focaccia recipe
“Focaccia epitomises everything I love about Mediterranean food – its simplicity and wonderful, rustic flavours. I especially enjoy eating this classic Italian flat bread with cured meats, a leafy salad and a tomato and basil salad dressed with good olive oil.
It’s fun to make and you can vary the topping – try chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes in place of rosemary and sea salt, for example.”
• 375ml water, lukewarm
• 1 sachet active dried yeast
• 500g strong white bread flour
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 4 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
• 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
1 Pour 100 ml of the warm water into a jug, sprinkle on the dried yeast, stir and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl (preferably of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook), combine the flour, salt and half of the chopped rosemary.
2 Mix the yeast liquid with the remaining 275 ml warm water and 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Using an electric mixer, or by hand, work the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture to form a smooth, soft dough.
3 Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the dough with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1–1 ½ hours until doubled in size.
4 Knock back the dough in the bowl, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape roughly into a 25 cm circle, flattening the dough gently with floured hands.
5 Line a baking tray with baking parchment, oil lightly and sprinkle with flour. Carefully transfer the dough to the baking tray and cover with oiled cling film.
6 Leave to prove until nearly doubled in size; this will take about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C.
7 Once the dough is ready, mix the remaining olive oil with 1 tablespoon water. Make indentations over the surface of the dough with your fingertips (see below).
8 Brush the dough with the oil and water mixture, then scatter over the remaining chopped rosemary and sprinkle generously with sea salt flakes.
9 Bake the focaccia for 20–25 minutes until well risen and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.
To give focaccia its characteristic dimpled surface, you need to make holes all over the surface of the dough before baking. As it’s a very sticky dough to handle, flour your fingertips before poking them into the dough to make the indentations.
Recipe extracted from Tom Kitchin, extracted from Kitchin Suppers