I had decided to eat lightly for one day this week with mostly fruit during the day, and in the evening I would have soup. But I wanted just that little bit more to go with the soup. Why not bake focaccia? Indeed, why not. Once baked, I can slice it into portions and freeze them separately. This way, I can heat up just the amount I need, and still have spare portions for future use.
My focaccia of choice is garlic, olive and rosemary. Unfortunately, I only had rosemary. I contemplated cheese and onion, but in the end chose an even easier solution. I had garlic granules which I would use in the absence of fresh garlic, and I had Emmental cheese.
The recipe I used was based on the one for Focaccia con Olive in the book “Bread” by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno. I do love this book as the recipes are really well written out, step by step and they give options to vary the recipe, including using different yeast types (fresh or dried).
500g strong white bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 sachet fast action dried yeast
150ml olive oil
175ml lukewarm water
Cubed cheese (Emmental or Gruyere work well) (use the amount of choice)
2 tablespoons garlic granules
Extra olive oil for drizzling
Sea salt flakes
Mix together all of the dry ingredients, make a well in the center and add in the oil and water. Add in the cubed cheese. The amount of garlic granules might make you panic, but the end result doesn’t actually taste that strongly of garlic.
Mix together carefully until it all comes together, then turn out onto a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. Knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic – around 10 minutes. I did debate the wisdom of adding the cubed cheese so early on, as kneading was slightly awkward, but in the end it turned out fine although the dough looked (obviously) very lumpy. Place the dough into a clean lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise until doubled in size – about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knock back. Leave to rest for 10 minutes then place on a lightly oiled baking tray rolling / stretching it out to the size and shape of choice. You’ll want it to be about a centimeter thick. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise until doubled in size – about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Using fingertips, press into the surface of the dough to form dimples about 1cm deep. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
Place in the oven to bake for around 30 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle with more olive oil and leave to cool. That aroma of fresh bread – heaven!!
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 😊