I love this Italian bread. It’s quick and simple to make and tastes lovely. There are dozens of variations, and it’s the perfect bread for the party.
Makes 2 loaves
25 g (1 oz) fresh yeast
300 ml (1/2 pint) tepid water
50 ml (2 fl oz) olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon flaked salt
420–480 g (14 1/2 –16 1/2 oz) strong bread flour
olive oil and flaked salt for the tray and for the baking
- Crumble the yeast into a bowl and dissolve it in the water, olive oil, honey and flaked salt.
- Add the flour a little at a time, work it into a dough and knead for about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave the dough to prove for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and divide it in two. Knead and shape each piece into a ball, then flatten to about 1 cm (1/2 in) thick.
- Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and sprinkle with flaked salt. Put the focaccias on the baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Leave to prove for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Push your fingers into the dough to make holes. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with flaked salt. Add any other flavour that you like (olives, rosemary, potato etc).
- Bake in the centre of the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.