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Sea Salt Focaccia

Appetisers & Sides
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  • Main Ingredient: Flour
  • Prep Time: 15 Mins + 50 Min Rest Time
  • Cook Time: 20-25 Mins
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Recipe by: Le Creuset
Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 x 7g sachets or 3 teaspoons of fast acting dried yeast
  • 400ml Tepid water (35-40 degrees C)
  • Pinch sugar
  • 500g High grade flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for kneading and brushing
  • 1 tablespoon semolina or fine polenta to dust the pan
  • Topping
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 55g pitted black olives
  • 2 jarred red peppers in oil, cut into 8
  • 4-5 sprigs of rosemary

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PRINT RECIPE
  • Main Ingredient: Flour
  • Prep Time: 15 Mins + 50 Min Rest Time
  • Cook Time: 20-25 Mins
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Recipe by: Le Creuset

Focaccia is a traditional, Italian flatbread. Recipes can vary from region to region; this recipe follows its most recognised form of soft, “holey” bread which is soaked in a mixture of virgin olive oil, water and coarse sea salt before baking. It is perfect for topping with simple store cupboard ingredients such as olives and roasted peppers in oil and finished with fresh rosemary.

Made in a Le Creuset 26cm Skillet.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the dried yeast into a jug or bowl, add the 400ml warm water and stir in the sugar. Leave for a few minutes to become frothy. Tip -Activating the yeast rather than adding dry speeds up the rising process and ensures an excellent rise.
  2. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture along with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Using a large silicone spatula bring the ingredients together to form a very soft dough ball.  With well-oiled hands continue to work the dough ball in the bowl with a kneading action for 4-5 minutes. Cover and rest for 5-10 minutes. Tip –Alternatively this can be done in a stand mixer.
  3. Lightly oil the skillet with a basting brush and dust with the semolina or polenta. Tip- This will aid the release and create a crunchy finish to the crust
  4. Turn the dough out into the skillet and brush the surface well with some of the extra olive oil. Gently press the dough out with the flat of your hand, starting in the centre and working towards the edges to fill the skillet. Brush the surface with a little more oil, cover and rest for 25 minutes more or until doubled in size.
  5. Using your fingertip make around 18-20 dimples in the dough. Do not push all the way through to the base of the pan.
  6. Mix together the water, extra virgin olive oil and salt for the topping and pour the mixture into the dimples.
  7. Top with the olives and chillies, pressing them gently into the dough. Break the rosemary sprigs into smaller pieces and push randomly into the dimples. Rest for a final 10 minutes.
  8. Whilst the dough is resting preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/Gas Mark
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

 

Cook’s notes:
1) The secret of good focaccia is to trap the large air bubbles produced during rising as this gives the bread its distinctive light “holey” texture.
2) Tepid water is slightly warm or lukewarm; overly hot water will kill the yeast and cold water will make the rising time take much longer.
3) Try other toppings such as caramelised onion, roasted peppers and courgettes or cheese.

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