As promised, here is the recipe for the focaccia I made yesterday. If you’ve never made bread before and have always wanted to, this is a great recipe to get you into it as the simplicity and results fill you with confidence. It’s so simple a child could do it (and if you want to keep them quiet for a bit, I recommend just that), and tastes so much better than anything you’d find in a supermarket, and dare I say it, even in most bakeries.
1 sachet dried yeast (find near the flour in any supermarket)
275ml hot but not boiling water
500g strong white bread flour
3tsp Maldon sea salt
4 tbsp olive oil
Put the flour, yeast and 1 tsp salt in a mixing bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in 3 tbsp of the oil and gradually add the water until it forms a soft, raggy dough.
Turn the dough on to a floured work surface and knead vigorously for 10 minutes until you’ve made a smooth dough. Lightly oil a bowl, pop the dough in there and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place for 45 mins until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, knead again for 1-2 minutes so the air bubbles are knocked out. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into an oval shape and into a size that snugly fits in a baking tray. Oil the baking tray and put your rolled out dough on top then leave to rise in a wam place for 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade/ 400 Fahrenheit. Using your fingertips, dimple the surface of the dough (my favourite bit!) and drizzle on the remaining oil and salt. If you wanted to add any ingredients, now is the time to do it, just push whatever you fancy into the dimples. Rosemary and chillies work well, but don’t feel restrained by my choices. Put the bread in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden and the base of the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Voila!