The Ultimate Focaccia

I'll often take one of these with me if I'm going to a dinner party - it always disappears very quickly! There's a lot of water in the dough which you need, as otherwise you can end up with a very cake texture. Focaccia is simple to make though, because it's in a tin, so there's only one way for it to go. Make sure you push the olives, tomatoes and onions right down into the indentations and use plenty of olive oil on the bottom and drizzled over the top. And don't over-bake this one; you want it to stay light and soft inside.



Makes 1 large focaccia


Ingredients


  • 500g strong white bread flour

  • 8g fine salt

  • 10g fast-action dried yeast

  • 30ml olive oil, plus extra for oiling

  • 370ml water

  • 75g pitted Kalamata black olives

  • 1 small red onion

  • 10 cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

  • About 150ml olive oil, to drizzle

  • Flaky sea salt


Method


1. Put all of the dough ingredients into a large bowl and stir together to combine and form a dough. Fold a corner of the dough into the middle and push firmly, then rotate the bowl 90° and repeat. Continue this folding and turning action for 2 minutes then tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic. Alternatively, use a mixer fitted with the dough hook to mix and knead the dough, allowing 2 minutes on slow

and 7 minutes on medium speed.


2. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a large plastic bag and leave to

rise at room temperature for 2 hours until at least doubled in size.

Liberally oil the base of a large, shallow baking tin, about 30 x 20cm. Tip the

dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and stretch it to fit the dimensions of the

prepared baking tray. Drizzle with lots of olive oil and make firm indentations

all over the surface with your fingers. Put the tray into a roomy plastic bag and

leave to prove for 16 hours.


3. Remove the tin from the plastic bag and place the olives evenly on the dough,

pressing them firmly in place. Cut the onion into slim wedges and distribute

these over the dough, pushing them in too. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and

press them evenly into the dough. Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle

with the dried oregano and a generous amount of flaky salt.


4. Heat your oven to 210°C/Fan 190°C/Gas 6. Bake the focaccia for 20 minutes

or until golden brown. As you take the focaccia from the oven, drizzle more

olive oil over the surface. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.



Taken from Paul Hollywood’s BAKE, published by Bloomsbury

Photograph © Haarala Hamilton