homemade focaccia

Homemade focaccia. Sounds like an effort.

Can I let you in on a secret, it’s actually not.

This is simple and easy cooking, one for the novice cook. And after making it a couple of times you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. I know for the ‘focaccia first timers’ you might read it and go, wow, the dough needs to be let risen three times. That’s too hard. Please don’t be discouraged though.

Make it when you’ve got people coming over and you’re in the kitchen anyway. There is nothing more impressive then home made bread at a party. Trust me.

I didn’t think it was possible to take artichoke dip to new heights either, but there you go. Serve it up with some of this and I can absolutely 100% guarantee you, you won’t be disappointed. It also goes really well with this easy baked ricotta recipe, paired up with a cold bevvy or two. Or jazz up a Saturday lunch with a loaf of homemade focaccia alongside your hot chook and salad.

It’s just good, honest food. Exactly the type of recipe we all need up our sleeves for the summer entertaining months ahead.

Those little black things look like olives, but are actually slithers of black garlic.
Dangerously delicious.

homemade focaccia

Using very humble ingredients, this is for the novice cook. Only annoying thing about it is having to let the dough ‘rise’ three times. This is a very important part of the cooking process however as it’s what makes the focaccia puff up nicely, resulting in a light and airy bread. You nail this and your family will love you for it.

You need to start this recipe 2 1/2 hours before you want it on the table.

500 grams of plain flour
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1 x sachet of instant dried yeast
1/2 tablespoon of white sugar
300ml of hot tap water
A good glug of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over the top
Fresh rosemary, salt, pepper and anything else you want to whack on top (think olives, fermented garlic, cherry tomatoes, chilli flakes, caramelised onion, fresh or dried herbs)

  • Add flour and salt in to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Measure out the hot water in a jug and throw in the yeast and sugar. Stir with a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes (you want the yeast to start to activate here and it should start to go all bubbly on top).
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast/water mixture and bring together with a fork. Add a dash of olive oil. Now get your hands in and give it a good knead for a few minutes until you have a nice ball of dough.
  • Drizzle some olive oil in to a large bowl and using your hand, grease the inside of the bowl. Throw the dough in and then pop some glad wrap over the top. Place in a warm part of the kitchen (near a window with some sun is a great spot) and leave it for 30 minutes.
  • When 30 minutes is up, come back to your dough (hopefully it’s doubled in size) and punch the air out of the dough. Bring the outsides of the dough in to the centre and turn it upside down so you’ve got your ball of dough again. Now this sounds weird but you want to add it back in to a large bowl greased with olive oil and let it sit under the glad wrap again for another 30 minutes. This is the second rise.
  • Once this second 30 minutes is up, grab a large rectangular baking dish and grease it with olive oil. Now whack the dough in and drag it out so that it covers the base of the dish (this is a bit tricky at first but persist and you will get it to stay). Sorry, third and final ‘rise’ here; pop the glad wrap back on and let it sit in the warm place again for another 40 minutes.
  • Now that it’s time to cook, using your fingers, punch holes throughout the dough (to get that nice dimply look) and scatter over the herbs/drizzle with garlic and season well with some nice salt (I love using Malden salt) and a bit of cracked pepper.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes in a 180 degree oven until cooked and slightly browned on the top and bottom.

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