After making focaccia for the first time last weekend, I wondered why I hadn't made it sooner! Its actually very quick and easy to make, and can be mixed completely by hand. Italian focaccia is a flat bread, that is simply made with flour, yeast and olive oil and flavoured with herbs. The dough is very similar to a pizza dough, though the bread is thicker.
This basic focaccia recipe can be adapted with any type of topping you like! Other flavour ideas include roasted cherry tomatoes, caramelised onions, roasted red capsicums, cheese and salami. Focaccia can be served as a side to soups or casseroles, with an antipasta platter, cut in half filled with roast vegetables or cured meats, or on its own!
Basic Focaccia Recipe with Olive and Rosemary
3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt flakes
pitted kalamata olives
1. Combine flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Measure water in a jug and add oil. Whisk to combine, then add to the flour mixture. Mix with hands until dough comes together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and springs back after lightly touching the surface.
2. Grease a clean glass bowl with some olive oil, and place dough in bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
3. Once dough has risen, place on a lightly floured surface and roll to form a 20 cm round. Cover with greased plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 200˚C (fan-forced). Remove plastic wrap and place indentations in the dough. Fill these indentations with the olives and rosemary. Sprinkle with a generous amount of sea salt flakes and drizzle with olive oil. Bake, uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Focaccia is best made on the day of serving.