Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Olive & Rosemary Focaccia


One bread I bake often is the focaccia. With endless variations for the toppings, my latest had green olives and rosemary. I tend to go gaga over (herbs like) rosemary since it's not available here. I did sow the seeds once but for some reason the seeds did not germinate. I used to feel the same way about basil but that is doing well here now. So next time I could be using rosemary from my garden.:)
This time I used all-purpose flour. My wheat flour focaccia can be seen here. The mixing is done by hand.

Ingredients:
450 grams all-purpose flour
2 tsp active dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
Some lukewarm water
A generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil + some extra for greasing
1/2 tsp salt
15-20 green olives in brine, pitted and sliced
A few sprigs of rosemary, roughly chopped
With some recipes that you make often, you forget to take the measurements of water and oil.:)
I usually heat up some water and use some for the yeast and set the rest aside to use as I knead the dough.
Method:
Put some lukewarm water in a bowl. Add the yeast. Add sugar and give it a gentle mix. Set aside for the yeast to froth up. This will take about 10 minutes. 
Put the flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, the oil and the salt.
Start mixing and when the dough comes together, tip the contents to your work surface and knead for about ten minutes.
Grease a clean bowl and transfer the dough there. Cover with clingfilm and keep in a warm place till it doubles in size. This will take about an hour.

Remove the dough from the bowl and knead gently for a few minutes. Since I used two baking pans, I cut the dough in the middle and rolled them into a ball before placing them on greased baking dishes. 
Set them aside for another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the dough will have risen further, dip your finger tips in oil and gently spread the dough across the surface of the baking dish. Create the indentations as you go, the mark that is typical of this bread. Drizzle some more oil and place the olives on the dents. Scatter the sprigs and chopped rosemary on the surface. Sprinkle some salt on the surface. Set aside for another 20 minutes.

Then bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes till the crust is a little brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Fresh out of the oven
When it's out of the oven, drizzle some more oil and have the bread when it is still warm with accompaniments of your choice.

I usually add crushed black pepper but this time I didn't. I also regret not adding chopped rosemary to the dough. But it was good and very soft. 
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