Italian Focaccia

A view over beautiful Lake Como

A view over beautiful Lake Como

We had an Italian One Day Course running this Saturday and it has reminded us of our recent travels there. Nothing quite beats walking through the Italian Mountains during the day and watching the sun set over the Italian Lakes with a cool, crisp glass of wine in the evening. Italy is a superb and varied country and it is well worth visiting places a little of the beaten track, especially if you want to try some really authentic Italian food. You will soon discover that Italian food is as varied as its landscape and it is far, far more than just pizza!

One traditional Italian recipe that we have found and loved is for Italian focaccia. This delicious, rosemary scented bread will always impress guests – just don’t expect it to hang around for very long! We like our focaccia best served on its own with some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When something is this delicious, it doesn’t need any fancy extras.

A student prepares their own focaccia in the school (Photo:Nigel Denham)

A student prepares their own focaccia in the school (Photo:Nigel Denham)

Focaccia

750g (1½lb) strong white flour
1 x 7g (¼oz) sachet fast-action dried yeast
3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil
250ml (8 fl oz) tepid water

Put the flour in a bowl and add the yeast and rosemary.

Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the oil and water. Mix to a soft dough.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Place in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to double in size (about 1 hr).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back. Knead for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Roll out dough to form a 5cm (2 in) thick round. Cover and leave to double in size for about 1 hour.

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas 5 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Leave a Reply