Sam Woor's fabulous focaccia to bake at home
Daunted by the thought of baking at home? Don't be, says our food writer Sam Woor, this recipe for delicious focaccia is simple to follow and easy to make
Easy to make focaccia
This classic flat bread from sunny Italy originated in Roman times and is derived from the Latin word ‘focus’, which means centre, as it was traditionally baked in the ashes of the fire at the centre of houses.
Foccacia is perfect for sharing and baking your own is a great way to get creative in the kitchen. You can get kids involved in adding a variety of toppings. In this sense, focaccia is similar to a pizza – mix it up, olives, onion, salt and herbs are all great toppings.
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7g fast action dried yeast
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2tsp fine table salt
300ml warm water
2tbsp olive oil
For the topping-
2tbsp mixed dried herbs
1tbsp coarse sea salt
Olive oil, for drizzling
Toppings of your choice
Mix the flour, yeast and the fine table salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and water and mix into a wet dough. Turn the dough out on to a well dusted work surface and knead for 10 minutes using a bit of flour on your hands, until the dough becomes light and silky. Grease a clean mixing bowl with a little olive oil and place the dough in it. Wipe a little more olive oil over the top of the dough and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place like an airing cupboard for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Preheat an oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Dust a shallow baking tray with a little flour and turn out the risen dough onto it. Push and squash the dough right into the corners of the baking tray and cover with a tea towel to rise for 30 minutes so it is puffy. Using your fingertips, push holes all over the dough without going through it to make shallow holes about an inch deep. Sprinkle over the dried herbs and sea salt, and the topping of your choice – I like to use finely sliced red onion or a few tablespoons of roughly chopped black olives. Drizzle the focaccia generously with olive oil so the holes are almost full with oil. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 220°C, and for a further 15 minutes at 200°C/Gas 6. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes before cutting.