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
500g strong white bread flour
8g fine salt
10g fast-action dried yeast
30ml olive oil, plus extra for oiling
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
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