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Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Focaccia is a brilliant bread for fledgling bread makers to have a go at. The best thing about it is the variety - you can make your bread unique to you. Try adding a few of the following toppings: rosemary, thyme, red onions, garlic, chillies. This Paul Hollywood recipe is very easy to follow and produces perfect results every time.

500g strong white bread flour (it is vital that you use strong bread flour as it has more gluten compared with plain flour - gluten is essential for ensuring that your bread dough has an elastic texture)
2 tsp salt
2 sachets of dried yeast (14g)
2 tbsp olive oil
400 ml cold water
olive oil for drizzling
fine sea salt

1. Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml of the water into a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients.
2. Knead the dough in the bowl for 5 minutes, gradually adding the remaining 100ml of water.
3. Place the dough onto an oiled surface and knead for 5 more minutes.
4. Return the dough to bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise until it has doubled in size (around 1 and 1/2 hours)
5. Tip the dough onto an oiled surface and punch a couple of times to knock the air out.
6. Line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper, place half the dough on each tray and push the dough so it fills the entire tray.
7. Cover and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size again (about 1 hour)
8. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.
9. Use a skewer to poke 2 cm holes into the dough around 3 cm apart. Drizzle with oil and fine sea salt and any other chosen toppings. I particularly like finely sliced red onion and rosemary sprigs
10. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy either hot or warm.

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