Having not yet mastered the art of baking bread (simply by never trying more than the occasional damper) I still felt like adding something homemade to our brunch table the other week that looked kind of fancy. Italian food is always fancy, or so I thought, and ended up with this easy focaccia recipe which turned out extremely well (and a little fancy):
- 1 packet (7g) dry yeast
- 450ml warm water
- 450g flour (plus some more if the dough ends up sticky)
- olive oil
- rosemary (dried or fresh)
- 2 cloves of garlic (or more)
- coarse (sea) salt
In a medium-sized bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes to proof it: it will start to foam up. If it doesn’t, start over with a new packet of yeast.
In another bowl combine flour and approximately two tablespoons of salt. Add the yeast mixture and two tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix for approximately one minute, by which time the dough should be a most ball that isn’t overly sticky.
Cover the dough in the bowl with a tea towel and put it in a warm place to rise. If you like, you can coat it with one tablespoon of olive oil before.
After an hour the dough should have doubled in size.
Now coat a big-enough baking pan with olive oil and place the dough in the pan. Use your fingers to make sure it covers the whole bottom of the pan.
Cover it and let it sit for another good half hour.
In the meantime, cut the garlic and – if necessary – the rosemary, then pre-heat the oven to 200°C
Spread rosemary and garlic evenly on the focaccia. Drizzle yet more olive oil over the bread and sprinkle it with coarse salt.
Bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes.
This rosemary garlic focaccia is best eaten when still warm and makes a perfect meal by itself. I like to make it when we have people over because I love sharing homemade bread by everyone simply breaking off pieces.
I find this to be a thoroughly versatile recipe which you can easily adapt to your taste by adding olives or sun-dried tomatoes, omitting the garlic or using different herbs (such as thyme or oregano).