Garlic and rosemary foccacia

Author: 
Mark Young
Serves: 
6 to 8 people
Prep time: 
30 minutes
Cook time: 
Production time 2.5 hours
Ingredients: 
Ingredients for the dough:
  • 1 kg strong white bread flour
  • 28 grams fast acting dried yeast
  • 28 grams of clear honey
  • 15 grams of salt
  • 400 grams of tepid water
  • 200 grams of good quality olive oil
Ingredients for the topping:
  • 20 gram bunch of fresh rosemary picked and chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 75 ml of good olive oil
  • 30 grams of Malden sea salt flakes
Method: 
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water with the honey and the olive oil and put in a warm place until the yeast is activated and bubbles start to appear on the liquid, This is your starter for your bread
  2. Put the flour onto a clean bench and sprinkle the salt on and mix in, form a mountain like pile with the flour and then make a well in the middle.
  3. Pour about a third of the yeast starter into the well and using one hand use a circular motion to gradually start to incorporate the flour into the starter, be careful not to break through the sides of the flour wall, if this happens repair from a thicker part of your flour pile!
  4. As the mixture starts to come together add a further third of the starter and repeat the mixing process, then continue by adding  the remaining starter and mix until a rough dough forms.
  5. Now come the Kneading! the more effort you put in the better the structure of the bread so a minimum of 10 minutes kneading please, the dough will come together to form a smooth dough, do not be tempted to add any more flour to the mix, it may start off sticky and difficult to knead but trust me it will get there if you persevere, if you can manage 20 minutes of kneading even better.
  6. You should now have a smooth dough that springs back if you press a thumb or finger onto it, placed it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel and put in a draught free, warm place to prove until double in size, this will take about an hour.
  7. When the dough has double, put back onto the clean bench and knead again for about 5 minutes, this is the “Knocking back” process, then get your baking sheet and oil it with a little of the olive oil.
  8. Place the dough on the oiled tray and push it out to whatever shape you require, square, oval, rectangular whatever takes you fancy really! You want the dough to be an even 1.5 inches thick when you are done.
  9. Next dimple the flat dough with your fingers, cover with a clean cloth and put back in the warm, draught free place for its second prove, this is a good time to preheat your oven. Place a second baking tray with sides in the bottom of the oven when you put it on to pre heat.
  10. Once the dough has doubled in size drizzle the remaining oil, sea salt flakes and chopped rosemary evenly over the top of the dough, pushing it into the dimples as you do so.
  11. Put the dough into the centre of your oven and splash about a tea cup of water onto the hot tray at the bottom of the oven, this will make a steam that will create a nice crust on your bread.
  12. Cook until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  13. Remove and place onto a cooling rack and rest if you can resist for 20 minutes!
 
Chef's tip:

Drizzle the warm foccacia with a little more oil and serve with good quality balsamic vinegar for dipping. Enjoy!!