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April 8, 2016

Italian Focaccia

This simple dimple-topped Italian flat bread is punctuated with olive oil and the aromatic flavours of rosemary and onion to produce a truly succulent loaf.

Ingredients :

  1. Active dry yeast - 1 packet
  2. Lukewarm water - 350 ml
  3. Olive oil - 3 tbsp
  4. Unbleached white bread flour - 500 gms
  5. Salt - 2 tsp
  6. 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
For the topping :
  1. Red onion, lengthwise sliced - 2 tbsp
  2. Fresh rosemary - 1 tsp, finely chopped
  3. Olive oil - 4 tbsp

Method :

1.   Lightly oil the shallow cake tins or pizza pans.  Cream the yeast with 4 tbsp of water, then stir in the remaining water.  Stir in the oil.

2.   Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the yeast mixture into the well and incorporate the flour to make a soft dough.

3.   Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 mins until smooth and elastic.  Place in a lightly oiled clear film and leave to rice, in a warm place, for about 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

4.   Knock back the dough and turn out on to a floured surface.  Gently knead in the chopped rosemary.   Roll the dough and place in the prepared tins.

5.   Cover with lightly oiled clear film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 mins.  Uncover and using your fingertips, poke the dough to make deep dimples over the entire surface.  Replace the clear film cover and leave to rise until doubled in bulk.

6.   Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 C.  Sprinkle the loaves with olive oil, chopped rosemary and sliced onions for the topping.  Bake for 25-30 mins, or until loaves are golden.  Immediately, remove the focaccia from the tin and transfer them to a wire rack to cool slightly.   These loaves are best served warm.

Serve warm.

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