Italian Focaccia Bread

A great simple bread to accompany many meals or diner parties. Just like a pizza, go wild with combinations you like, from the basic Sea Salt (also known as “Salty Bread”), to Gorgonzola cheese, garlic and fresh thyme.

 

Ingredients

½ tsp    Dried yeast (add slightly more for a faster proving)

300 g   Strong white flour

1 tsp     Salt

1 tbs     Olive Oil

200 ml Water

Fresh sage leaves

100g    Black olives, pitted

Sea Salt

 

Preparation and cooking

This is very similar approach to making the Pizza dough. Place the first five ingredients into the bread maker in order, starting with the dried yeast and finishing with the water. Set the bread maker on to the “pizza dough” option which takes around 45 minutes to make a ready proved dough. If you don’t have a bread maker, then mix all dough the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead for at least 10 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, and cover with cling film, leaving for at least ½ hour for the dough to double in size.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface, until it is 2-3 cm think (approx. 30cm x 25 cm rectangle).   Sprinkle on the sage leaves, and press the olives into the surface of the bread.   Cover and leave in a warm place for another 1 hour to prove and rise again. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Drizzle a little olive oil over the surface of the dough and then sprinkle over some coarse sea salt. Bake for around 20-30 minutes, until the edges of the bread just start to go golden in colour….do not over bake !

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