A light, fluffy Italian bread topped with classic rosemary and sea salt, all complimented by the deep flavour of Extra Virgin olive oil
Hello bakers, happy bank holiday Friday! Seeing as we have the last long weekend of the summer coming up, I thought today I would share a bread recipe that is sociable and perfect for picnics, so I give you the delicious, loved-by-all, Italian focaccia bread! In the spirit of bank holidays, I’ll also be sharing with you another super tasty, picnic worthy recipe on Saturday too!
It is simpler to prepare than you think, can be done by hand or with a mixer, and can have flavour toppings to suit any and all taste buds. I’ve opted for a traditional rosemary and sea salt as requested by my mum, but you can mix and match all sorts of herbs, cured meats etc. I personally love a good chorizo focaccia. Pestos also work really well as a flavour add in!
Because it’s my first time making focaccia, and I wanted to share it with my family this weekend, I’ve opted for the tried and tested recipe on What Jessica Baked Next. She had a great blog full of bakes for every occasion, it’s well worth a look! So rather than rewrite the recipe, you can find the specific quantities and instructions here, and I’ll share my tips with you instead!
When you’re kneading the dough, if you do it by hand, a combination of traditional kneading and a different technique which I read about here make for better results. The second technique is to pull the dough out from the edges, folding it back into the centre before turning the bowl and repeating. I wasn’t sure why this was helpful as the recipe did not specify, but it seems to help make sure all your dough gets kneaded evenly, so you get an even gluten development and so an even texture to your bread! If anyone knows more, I’d love to learn 🙂
Don’t be tempted to skip the second proof of this bread, it too is vital to getting the right fluffy texture. Proof it once as a lump of dough in a bowl, and then again once it has been pressed into the tin for the best results.
Extra Virgin olive oil is more expensive than regular olive oil so it may not be an everyday item in your kitchen, I know it isn’t in my student kitchen! But if you can, it is well worth investing in some if you’re going to make focaccia. The depth of flavour is just so much better, you’ll agree as soon as you try it.
Serve with olive oil, a balsamic dip, or even make it a main part of your meal! I once had a delicious sun dried tomato and pesto focaccia topped with sausage at a restaurant, this bread really is so versatile!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s bread post and find my tips helpful 🙂 enjoy the recipe and show me your bank holiday bakes by tagging me on Instagram or Twitter (@kneadtodough)
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Happy baking and thank you for reading,