A bread that is very trending, at least in my Facebook groups. I’ve made Herman Focaccia as well as ordinary Focaccia before and have been wanting to show my creativity with what I have on hand.
Saturday night dinner with additional family members at the table is always a good reason to serve up more sides or bigger portions of food.
What goes well with focaccia on the side? I chose beef stew. A nice stew with a soft hearty bread to mop up the sauce with…… Yum!
7g instant dried yeast
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon white sugar
3 cups plain flour (all-purpose) & more
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sprigs of parsley
sprigs of rosemary
small red onions
- Pour some olive oil into your 9×13″ baking tray. Use a brush or your fingers to smear/spread the oil on the bottom & sides of the tray. This helps to crisp up the bottom of the bread during baking.
- Place yeast, sugar & warm water in a large mixing bowl. Give it a stir, cover with cling wrap & allow the yeast to come alive = bubble up as in photo below, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the 3 cups of flour & salt. Mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. The dough should still be sticky. You can add additional flour to it when you are kneading.
- Empty the dough onto a counter top for kneading. Do not wash up the mixing bowl as you will be using it again after kneading.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes. This will help to activate the gluten in the flour. Knowing how to knead is important. The video below is to show you how it is done, using the base of your palm to ‘push’. Add more flour if the dough sticks to your palms with a soft residue. Stop adding flour when there is no residue. Always add about 1 tablespoon at a time.
- 10 minutes of kneading done? Great. Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turn it (the dough) around to coat it in the olive oil. You might also want to use your fingers & brush the oil in the bowl up along the sides of the bowl.
- Cover the bow with clingwrap and allow the dough to breathe and grow.
Photo A – after kneading Photo B – when it is full grown
- Push down the dough & place on a lightly floured surface or counter top.
- Roll it out to a rectangle to fit your prepared baking tray. Either cover with clingwrap or a damp tea towel or place it in the oven to allow the dough to grow or rise for 20 minutes. This is your time to prepare your garden.
- Remove the skins of the onions & quarter it.
- Thinly slice the cherry tomatoes skins into 5 segments. Cut the top off and it will turn into a flower.
- When the 20 minutes is up, time to decorate your garden. Place your onion segments into a flower shape anywhere on your bread canvas. You can at this point of time, make some indents either with your fingers or the rounded end of a wooden spoon straight into the dough.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, sprigs of parsley & rosemary as you ‘draw’ on your canvas.
- Spray or lightly drizzle some olive oil over the top of the bread, sprinkle with some coarse sea salt.
- Cover with clingwrap or damp teatowel – again, for another 30 minutes or so until the bread has risen yet again.
- Bake in a preheated oven of 180ºC (375ºF) for 25-30 minutes or when the top is golden brown.
- Cut into large squares or rectangles & serve with your main dish or enjoy as is.