Summer Herb Focaccia

Focaccia is an Italian flat bread based on the same recipe as a pizza base. It is quick to make and is excellent served with a good cold pressed olive oil. In this recipe I use a selection of herbs and rocket to make a very tasty bread, I also like to use half Italian Tipo 00 flour to create a crisp bread but if you can just use bread flour if you like.

Preparation: 60 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Focaccia

  • 200g OO Tipo Flour or use all strong flour (bread flour)
  • 200g Strong flour (Bread flour)
  • 15g fresh yeast of 7g or 1 sachet of dried yeast
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 300ml warm water
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbps basil, shredded
  • a couple of handfuls of rocket leaves
  • maldon salt

Method

  1. Yeast: Place the yeast in a container with the olive oil and add the warm water and stir it together until the yeast has dissolved, if you are using dried yast leave it to foam before using.
  2. Dough: Place the flour, herbs and a little salt in a mixing bowl or on a work top. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and gradually work the flour into the yeast mixture and knead it until it is smooth or mix it with a dough hook on a low speed until it forms a ball and comes away from the sides (this should take around 5 minutes). The dough should be moist but not wet.
  3. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it, cover the bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel. Leave it in a warm place until it has risen to double its size.
  4. Preheat an oven to 220°C. Remove the risen dough from the bowl and knead it into a ball. Roll the dough out so that you have a round about 1cm thick. Oil a baking tray and place the dough on it, drizzle over a little oil and set it aside in a warm place for 15-20 minutes to rise.
  5. Toss the rocket in a little olive oil and press it in into the dough making thumb marks all over the bread. Sprinkle over lightly crushed maldon salt.
  6. Place the baking tray in the centre of the preheated oven and cook it for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 190°C and leave it to cook for a further 10-15 minutes until it has risen and is golden brown.
  7. To Serve: Serve focaccia with plenty of olive oil for dipping or if you like butter.