Focaccia is one of those things that Becksie has tried long and hard to perfect! You know, getting the perfect amount of holes, getting the crumb right etc etc! What’s she’s come to realise is that life is too short and unless you have very rude dinner guest or say……Paul Hollywood coming for tea then you can make a basic white bread dough, squash it flat, add oil and toppings and focaccia the critics.
Incidentally Becksie’s critics love it, well they eat the whole thing! So……make a basic white dough, we usually do a 500g strong white bread flour, teaspoon of salt (actually we probably add more say 2 we like bread salty), 200ml tepid water, sometimes a teaspoon of dried yeast but mostly a knob of fresh yeast and a teaspoon of sugar and about 15g of fat (we are now lard converts). Sorry these measurements are so slap dash since our weighing scale battery died Becksie started eyeballing it and since the scales have a new battery we haven’t used them. Anyway we’re rambling! We make this amount if dough and then make half into a focaccia for 3 of us. If Paul Hollywood came we’d do the whole amount. Hope you get what we mean!
Take your desired amount of flour, choice of fat and rub it into the flour. Add the salt. Start your yeast off in a separate bowl with the sugar and add it and your water to the flour, mix and bring together as a dough. Knead on a floured surface for a good 7- 8 mins. This bit is important – you need to knead! Work those wrists! Lizzie loves this part of bread making.
When it is ready to prove it will a) not feel at all sticky and b) will spring back when pushed in. Put it back in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or oiled cling film. Leave it for at least an hour, it should double / triple in size. So far so good!
Grease a shallowish baking tray – by this we mean a good glug of oil and rub around. Then get your dough and re knead it, put it in the tray so it i is flat like so:
Flatten to fill the tray, re-cover and prove for another 1/2 hour.
Then take your finger (or get a small assistant) and make holes in the top in lines. Add rosemary sprigs, garlic chunks, salt, chilli and a generous drizzle of oil! Bake at 200c for about 25 minutes! The top should be golden and the bottom should sound hollow!
Of course you can go to town on the toppings and use what you like!! And you can serve it with what you like, baked cheese, grilled fish, salad, oil and balsamic, cold meats – the world is your oyster!!