Who doesn’t like a good bread? And being born into a family like mine meant I grew up on some quality bread from my grandfather’s bakery! I used to love the rich brown bread, the soft sandwich bread and the fruity buns!
But that was years ago… I have now discovered that there is more to bread than these 3 classics!
There is a whole variety of Italian breads that are so exquisite that it almost tempts you to have a slice!
And as always this got me intrigued and I searched the lengths of the world wide web to find a recipe for these Italian classics.
What I now use is a combination of a recipe by Laura Vitale I saw on Youtube and one that was there on epicurious.
This particular recipe can be modified to suit your personal favourites and used in a versatile manner. Have it toasted smeared with butter for breakfast, grilled with a sprinkle of olive oil for lunch, or fill it with vegetables to make a sandwich! It just depends on your imagination and mood!
Yes it does take time to make it, and some effort to knead the dough, but trust me once you make it from scratch yourself, you will never want to buy one from the market again!
A focaccia has a rich flavour with the depth of olive oil. Its generally made out quite thin and has a rough round to rectangle shape! Easy to cut it horizontally to get 2 slices!
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp dry active yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
For the topping
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 flakes of garlic cut into thin slices
1 tbsp of dried or fresh rosemary
How to make it
Take 4 tbsp of luke warm water, add a pinch of sugar and the yeast, cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. Remover the lid and you will see that a layer of foam has developed on the top!
In a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt and sugar and mix well and create a well in the centre!
To the yeast mix add the olive oil, and pour this mix into the well.
Mix with a spoon and gently add in water 2 tbsp at a time till the dough come together.
Once it has formed a nice ball, flip out onto a flat surface and knead well by stretching and pulling the dough. Knead till the dough is nice and smooth!
Transfer into a bowl greased with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm and dark place for 2 hours!
After two hours the dough would have doubled in volume, grease a baking tray, and unmould the dough onto it, shape roughly with your hands til the dough is about 1 inch in height!
Now press the rosemary and garlic flakes onto the bread top!
Cover and let it sit for an hour!
Preheat the oven at 180°C.
Pinch the top of the bread to create small pockets.
It will keep for upto 3 days!