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A trip to Italy, Part 2: Focaccia

September 8, 2011

As promised, here is part two of my baking trip to Italy:

Rosemary / Tomato & Basil Focaccia

Focaccia of many flavours

 Recipe from Paul Hollywood via BBC Good Food Mag + Bake Off website

500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour

2 tsp salt

2 sachets dried easy blend yeast

2 tbsp olive oil

400ml/14fl oz cold water

olive oil, for drizzling

fine sea salt (if you are posh/organised enough to have it, or salt flakes)

Some suggestions for additions:

A sprinkle of dried (or better still, fresh) Rosemary

Roasted cherry tomatoes and basil leaves

Sundried tomatoes


1. Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml of the water [yes, the recipe really does say cold – how does the yeast work?]  into a large bowl. Gently stir with your hand or a wooden spoon to form a sticky dough, then knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes,  gradually adding the remaining water. It will be quite wet.

2. Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the centre, turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the process for about five minutes. 

3. Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for five more minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.

4. Line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Tip the dough out of the bowl and divide into two portions. Flatten each portion onto a baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to prove for one hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Drizzle the loaves with oil then push your fingers into the dough, right to the bottom, to create the dips that you see in focaccia bread. Sprinkle with fine sea salt or your extra flavours then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil – best  served hot or warm.

Stale leftovers can be cubed and tasted and used as croutons

Focaccia insides
Maybe Paul Hollywood can tell me if this texture is correct?


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