Looking at Sunday’s entry about flatbreads and focaccia, I just realised what was missing – I forgot to write up my focaccia recipe! What I give here is just the basic recipe but there are countless variations. You can always add different herbs or some crushed garlic, top the dough with caramelised onions or roasted peppers or, indeed, stuff it with cheese and bacon for a ready-made sandwich.
When the dough is ready for removal from the Breadmaker, I often knead in some cooked red onion – you can see it in the photo. It’s pure laziness that has me using the microwave but it is just as easy to do on the stovetop if you prefer. All I do is cut the onion into eighths and cook it with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, covered, for about 10 minutes on medium until soft. I then drain the oil and use it to drizzle over the top of the focaccia before it goes into the oven.
Instead of, or in addition to, water, I’ve also used whey from my attempts at cheesemaking and I do think this contributes to a more tasty bread. Waste not, want not. Am I sounding like a Fifties housewife yet?!
Rosemary Focaccia from your Breadmaker
Strong flour – 500g
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
Dried yeast – 2 teaspoons
Fresh rosemary – 2 tablespoons, chopped
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Sugar – 1 teaspoon
Water – 325ml
Following the instructions for your Breadmaker, put the ingredients into the bowl as directed and set it to make dough. When it is finished, empty the bowl on to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Oil a baking sheet and press the dough on to it in a rough flat circle until it is about 3-4cm thick. Cover it with a tea towel and leave to rise at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 250°C. Using your fingers, make numerous indentations into the now risen dough, drizzle with extra olive oil and sprinkle with flakes of sea salt. Cook at 250°C for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 180°C for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Loosen it from the baking sheet and tap the bottom to ensure it is cooked. If you don’t get a hollow sound, place it back in the oven, upside down, for a few minutes. When it is done, wrap the focaccia in a clean tea towel and allow to cool on a wire rack.