Herby focaccia is an undeniably beautiful bread, and mixing in some veg adds extra colour and even more flavour! A fantastic sharer or starter for the dinner table, this easy bake recipe is a little taste of spring.
Sift the bread flour into a mixing bowl and add 1 tsp salt. Whisk together to combine and leave to one side. Fill a jug with 300ml lukewarm water and stir through the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave it aside for 10 minutes. A foam layer will form on top of the water.
Pour the water into the dough with 2 tbsp olive oil and stir them together to make a sticky but soft dough. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead for 10 minutes until bouncy, with an elastic feel. Keep slapping it down onto the work surface and stretching it out, repeating the motion when kneading the dough. Avoid adding additional flour, to avoid drying the dough out.
Clean your mixing bowl, lightly grease it with olive oil and then place the dough in.
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it to one side in a warm place for 2 hours.
Once it has doubled in size it is ready for the next stage.
Slide the risen dough out of the bowl and onto your work surface, knocking it back into a round ball.
Lightly grease a 28cm x 18cm baking tray with olive oil and put the dough into the tin. Gently stretch it out so it is the same shape as the tin. It should expand to fill it. Cover the top of the tin with cling film and put it in the fridge to rise overnight.
Take the focaccia out of the fridge and set it aside for 1 hour before you bake it. Gently use your fingers to poke dimples in the top of the dough and drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt. Preheat your oven to 230°C.
Prepare your toppings from the “garden” using mixed herbs, soft veg, olives, antipasto and sundried tomatoes. Use your vegetables to create your arrangement on your focaccia. We used onions, tomatoes, spring onions and olives. Then add your herbs to create the leaves.
Once added to your focaccia place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen. It should be hollow to touch.
Take your focaccia out of the oven and let it cool before carefully removing it from the tin, then place it on a wire rack and finish to cool. Add extra olive oil for extra deliciousness.
Ingredients – 8 items
Strong bread flour
Golden caster sugar
Fast-action dried yeast
Pinch of herbs (rosemary, basil)
Choice of vegetables
cherry tomatoes, spring onion, red onions, peppers
black or green
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