What’s the difference between a focaccia and a ciabatta? I wasn’t entirely sure what this was, but a bit of googling revealed a Paul Hollywood recipe for focaccia which is similar. And I’m willing to concede that he probably knows more about bread than I do. I love bread, all of it. I could never manage one of those silly bread free diets. I don’t have a mixer or a bread machine, so all my bread recipes are totally by hand.
- 500g Strong white bread flour
- 14g (2 packets) of easy bake yeast
- 1 tbsp. of salt
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 300ml warm water
- 1 tsp Rosemary
- 1 tsp Sea salt
Put the flour, salt, yeast, water and 2 tbsp. of oil into a large mixing bowl. Mix together well with a wooden spoon, until it starts to come together into a dough.
You probably won’t be able to get it to one smooth ball of dough without kneading it together with your hands a little.
Once you’ve got your ball, leave it in your bowl, while you spread another tbsp. of oil on to a surface. Tip the dough out on to it.
Now I like to develop a little “stretch knead stretch knead” rhythm here. I take my dough, and gently stretch it, turning it as I go so all of it gets stretched, until it seems like it will break. Then, I put it on the oiled surface, and fold all 4 sides back into the centre, and give it a tiny mini knead. I then pick it up and gently stretch again.
I do this for about 10 minutes. You’ll find as time passes, its starts to stretch a lot further, and easier. It becomes less sticky and easier to work with also.
After 10 minutes, put it on a lightly oiled baking tray in a ball. I then put it in my trusty proofing carrier bag for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, oil another tray. Divide the dough into 2. Put 1 ball on each baking tray, and flatten it with your hands, slowly stretching it out to fill the tray.
You’ll probably find that even though it will stretch, it won’t actually stick into the corners. It will keep bouncing out. This is fine, it will grow slightly as it cooks, just get it as close as you can.
I now get out my other trusty proofing carrier and put the trays of dough in one each. I then leave them for 1 hour.
Towards the end of the hour preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
After the hour, remove the dough trays from the bread. Spread oil over the tops. A brush would be wise here, I couldn’t find one, so I really gently used my fingers. Then sprinkle over some sea salt and rosemary.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve with more olive oil. I eat it on its own with a cup of tea. Not all of it. Maybe all of it.
Focaccia is such a great bread, you can do so much with it once you've cracked the basics!
- • 500g Strong white bread flour
- • 14g 2 packets of easy bake yeast
- • 1 tbsp. of salt
- • 4 tbsp. olive oil
- • 300ml warm water
- • 1 tsp Rosemary
- • 1 tsp Sea salt
Add flour, yeast, salt, 2tbsp oil and water to a large mixing bowl
Mix until it forms a dough, knead into a ball
Tip dough on to an oiled surface
Stretch out as far as you can, turning all the time
Fold all 4 sides back to the centre before stretching again
Repeat for 10 minutes
Knead dough into a ball
Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and proof somewhere warm for 20 minutes
Divide the dough into 2
Place on 2 lightly oiled baking trays, flatted and gently stretch until it fills the trays
Proof for a further hour
Towards the end of the hour preheat the oven to 180 degrees
After the hour,spread the bread with oil and sprinkle on sea salt and rosemary
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes