Siciliana olive and cherry tomato Focaccia.
This visually stunning bread recipe takes about two hours (with proving time) from start to the table. It is great served warm to rip apart and eat with a selection of dips. SERVES 8 PLUS
Equipment needed: A good sized baking tray, baking parchment, and a good warm draught free area for the bread to prove, eg a kitchen cupboard right next to the oven.
15gm yeast (preferably fresh) or dried yeast ready activated
300gm/ml warm water (ideally 30oC)
500gm strong white bread flour
150gm Real Olive Company Siciliana olives (cut into halves)
100gm cherry tomatoes(cut into halves)
50gm olive oil
A small handful of rosemary
Sea salt to sprinkle on top before baking
In a good size bowl, whisk the yeast and sugar into the warm water (if using dried yeast, activate first by dissolving in a little warm water then whisk in), leave bowl in a warm place for ten minutes until the liquid starts to fizz a little.Mix the flour slowly to the fizzy liquid, very slowly at first to ensure there are no lumps.Gradually combine all the flour until the dough is smooth and pliable, but just comes away from the bowl.
Knead the dough for five minutes, add a little flour if the dough is sticking, or a dash of water if too dry.
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover in cling film. Leave in the warm proving area until dough doubles in size, approximately 1 hour.
“Knock back” the dough to its original size. On a floured surface roll the dough into a rectangular shape to ½ to ¾cm thick. Carefully transfer the rolled focaccia on to the baking parchment on an oven tray. Baste the dough with the olive oil.Pre heat oven to 220oC. Press the olive halves intermediately into the focaccia, repeat with the tomato halves and scatter on the rosemary.Leave to prove for a further 10 minutes in a warm spot.
Sprinkle with sea salt and bake in pre-heated oven for twelve minutes.