Monday, 12 August 2013

Tomato focaccia

We love focaccia of all types and being lucky enough to have picked a large bowl of cherry tomatoes from the garden, we decided to use some of our bounty in a lovely fresh focaccia. Focaccia is a great bread to make and share with friends, especially if you have some great oil and vinegar to serve with it. Serve on a platter fresh from the oven Italian stylee, another bonus of this recipe is that you can use handfuls of fresh herbs just picked from the garden, I love this time of year when the garden is bountiful !

What you need

  • 20g dried yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar dissolved in warm water - 300ml
  • 450g strong white bread flour (organic if you can get hold of it)
  • Fresh thyme - picked and roughly chopped - 1tbsp
  • Fresh rosemary - picked and roughly chopped - 1tbsp
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 good tbsp extra virgin olive oil - the best you can afford it does make a difference
  • cherry tomatoes - halved if large
  • Extra virgin olive oil - for sprinkling
  • Sea salt - proper crystal flakes for a great finish
What you do
  • Mix the yeast into the sugared warm water, leave to one side until the yeast is frothy, you are now ready to bake
  • Place the flour, herbs and salt into a large bowl, ensure the salt is well distributed throughout 
  • Make a well in the centre and mix in half of the yeast mixture, mix with your fingers , keep adding liquid and mixing, now add the olive oil, still mixing and semi kneading until you have a soft slightly sticky dough.(Depending on your flour and the weather will depend on whether you need all the liquid)
  • Lightly flour the work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes until you have a soft elastic dough.
  • Put the dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover to rise until doubled in size, in a warm kitchen this will take approximately an hour.
  • Meanwhile oil your baking tray or roasting dish with a little olive oil, remove dough from bowl and place in roasting dish, squishing with your fingers to one level and to the edges and corners of the pan.
  • Cover the pan with a large plastic bag or clingfilm which you have lightly oiled to prevent the dough from sticking to it when rising.
  • Let this prove for about 30 minutes
  • Pre heat the oven to 190c 
  • When ready to bake, press the your fingers all over the dough to make little dinks in the dough for the tomato pieces, once you have used all the tomatoes, sprinkle with a little more olive oil and some sea salt flakes.
  • Bake for approx 30 minutes or so until golden and well risen
  • Delicious hot or cold, once baked and cooled it also freezes well, double wrapped in foil

The fabulous photography is once again by the talented Mr Lancashire Food 

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