Herby Garlic Focaccia



As sharing breads go, Focaccia has to be King. Served warm the light fluffy dough drizzled in olive oil and flavoured with herbs it never hangs about for long. It’s a fun bread to make too as it doesn’t take hours and hours or need any unusual ingredients, plus you can get a bit creative with the toppings. Grab fresh herbs from your garden and get them into use on this flavourful carb binge.

Ours is a little unusual as we flavour the whole bread rather than topping a plain dough. Fresh chopped or dried herbs and an undervalued kitchen staple, garlic puree, go into the mix before kneading so they are spread throughout, giving an Italian flavour to every bite right through your loaf. Garlic puree is great for flavouring breads. Smooth and oily, it goes in with the salt so it doesn’t affect the yeast but can infiltrate every part of your dough. And, its cheap to boot!

So, get this one on the go and in the middle of a table. Or why not cut it in half and stuff it with cheese and serve it as a Focaccia sandwich?

This wonderful Focaccia also makes a great accompaniment to our “Skinny-But-Creamy” Any Salad Hot or Cold Soup which can be found here.


Ingredients

Bread Dough

250g Strong white bread flour

125g Semolina

7g Dried yeast or 15g fresh yeast

220ml Tepid water

2 tbsp Olive Oil

½ tsp Salt

Black pepper

3 tsp Garlic puree

4x Fresh sage leaves finely chopped

1 Sprig fresh Oregano, leaves finely chopped.

1 tsp dried Thyme

Topping

2x Sprigs fresh Rosemary, needles finely chopped but reserve the ends whole

A few oregano leaves and / or thyme leaves

3x Large garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ Red or white onion, thinly sliced

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Olive Oil

Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar to serve.

Optional:

Black olives, cherry tomatoes or even parmesan to top. You can also change the dough herbs for 1 tbsp dried Italian Herb mix if you like.


Method

1. First, add the yeast to the tepid water and stir to dissolve in, set to one side for 10 mins.

2. In the bowl of your food processer or a large mixing bowl add the garlic puree, salt, chopped herbs, then add the flour and semolina on top.

3. Add the olive oil and the yeast / water mix, and then knead for 5 – 7 minutes with the dough hook attachment on medium, or with floured hands until you have a smooth soft dough and the herbs are evenly distributed. Add tiny amounts of extra flour or water if you need to.



4. Place in an oiled bowl and over with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for around an hour or until doubled in size.

5. Once risen, turn out onto a floured board and knock the air out with about 4 or 5 good kneads but keep the circular shape. Then place in a springform tin about 23cm but don’t get too worried about the size, use what you have. Even a square is fine! Leave to rise for about 20 – 30 mins.

6. Once risen again, preheat your oven to 200 degrees fan with the shelf in the middle.

7. You can now get a bit creative. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and then make some holes by pushing your index finger into the dough. Then sprinkle over or arrange your topping ingredients, smallest first. So garlic, salt and pepper, then leaves and sprigs, then your onion slices. Get artistic, or just chuck it on. Drizzle with a little more oil

8. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until risen and light golden brown. Remove from the oven and while still in the tin drizzle on a little more oil and allow to cool slightly. Eat warm with Oil and Balsamic vinegar!

#focaccia #baking #vegetarian #italian