The flavours of rosemary and sea salt compliments stews as equally as soups, cheeses and cold meats.
- 1.5 teaspoons dried yeast
- 300ml tepid water
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 500g 00 flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Pour a small amount of tepid water into a mixing bowl, add the yeast and mix gently with a fork until dissolved.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the salt and flour and create a well in the centre ready for your wet ingredients.
- Pour in the water and yeast mixture and the olive oil, and mix with your hands adding small amounts of water at a time, until you have a dough ready for kneading.
- Sprinkle some flour onto a work surface (give yourself as much room as possible), and place the dough in the centre of this space.
- Start kneading the dough, you need to be quite tough with the kneading for focaccia, and you should knead it for around ten minutes. If the dough is still a little sticky, you can sprinkle on more flour as required.
- Your focaccia dough is ready when it is elastic and stretches without breaking. When your dough reaches this point, form it into a large ball, place it in a floured bowl and cover it with oiled cling film, before placing it somewhere warm like an airing cupboard. Leave your focaccia dough until it doubles in size.
- When your dough has risen, place it on a floured surface and knock it back by driving your fist into it from above. Knead the dough once more for a couple of minutes, and leave to rest for around 5 minutes (you can prepare your tools and preheat your oven to 200C/Gas mark 6 in this time).
- Hold the dough in both hands and make an action like you're breaking the dough open, rotate and repeat, gradually moving your hands apart to start spreading out the dough. Place the focaccia dough in a baking tray, and stretch it out to the edges or until it reduces to a depth of approximately 2.5cms.
- Use thumb and forefinger to create deep dimples in the surface of the focaccia, chop half of your rosemary roughly and sprinkle over the dough, and push the remaining sprigs into the dimples. Sprinkle a few good pinches of sea salt over the dough and then pour a really good glug of extra virgin olive oil all over the top.
- Place your focaccia into a preheated oven for around 30 minutes or until a crust forms and the dough is cooked through.