rosemary and olive focaccia bread

The perfect accompaniment for any Italian meal.

This bread is a real indulgence, and I chose to serve mine with 4 different oils – olive oil, olive oil with balsamic vinegar, olive oil with rosemary and olive oil with basil.

Ensure you keep a little extra flour and olive oil aside.

ingredients

500g strong white flour

1tsp salt

pinch of sugar

4tbsp olive oil

2 x 7g sachets of yeast

80g semi dried tomatoes in oil, fully drained and chopped

120g mixed olives (i used garlic and herb marinaded olives – if using plain olives then add a little finely chopped garlic and mix)

a couple of sprigs of rosemary, chopped

sea salt

method

  1. combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl, and create a well in the middle. dissolve the yeast in 300ml of lukewarm water. add 1tbsp of olive oil to the well, quickly followed by the yeast mix.
  2. add the tomatoes to the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface. it should take about 10 minutes to achieve the right level of elasticity.
  3. use 1tbsp of olive oil to line a large bowl, and add the dough – shaping into a round. drizzle 1 tbsp over the top and cover with cling film. leave to prove in a warm place – it will take 45-60 mins and it should double in size.
  4. preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. move the dough to a floured baking tray, and flatten out/roll out. use your finger tips to push dimples into the top of the bread, and scatter with the olives, rosemary and sea salt. cover with lightly oiled cling film, and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 mins. the dough should double in size again.
  5. bake in the oven 20 mins, until golden brown.
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