Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Olive Focaccia

My first attempt at making bread and I have to say I am quite pleased.
I took some to my work office to share and get some more feedback. It was a hit!

I used a recipe from my Good Housekeeping Cookery book but somehow measured something wrong and it started off with way too much liquid for the amount of flour so I kept adding flour to balance it out and it turned out pretty darn good considering. So here is my recipe

1 sachet (7oz) of dried yeast
550g (20oz) strong plain white bread flour
325ml tepid warm water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
100g black olives - sliced or roughly chopped

1/ Pour 150ml of the warm water into a jug and sprinkle dried yeast on top. Leave for 10 minutes until foamy
2/ Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast liquid, olive oil and remaining warm water. Mix all together into a soft and smooth dough (add more flour if necessary)
3/ Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until dough becomes smoother and elasticated, then place dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for about 1 1/2 hrs or until dough has doubled in size
4/ Lightly oil 2 shallow baking tins. Knock back the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface for 1 minute. Add the olives and knead again until evenly combined
5/ Divide th dough in half and shape each half into the oiled shallow baking tins. Coven with a damp towel and let rise for 30min-1hr, or until dough is puffy
6/ Using your fingertips, make dimples all over both dough surfaces. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt. Bake in the oven at 200 C (gas mark 6) for 25-30 minutes or until golden (but not too browned or it will harden)
7/ Transfer focaccia to a wire rack and sprinkle with a bit more olive oil. Leave to cool, with a cloth covering it if you prefer a softer crust

TIP: To make bread extra soft place an oven proof bowl full of water at the bottom of the oven while the bread is baking

Serve with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar


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