Best served whilst warm, directly from the oven.
for the focaccia bread
- 2 teaspoons of dried active yeast
- 350 ml water
- 500g (1 lb) strong white flour
- 1.5 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
for the topping and filling
- 200g (7 oz) mozzarella cheese cut into small chunks
- 2 Garlic cloves, 1 peeled and crushed, 1 thinly sliced
- A big handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F - gas 6)
- If using a breadmaker make the dough using the longest dough setting you have, then follow the recipe from step 7
- Using a small bowl, add 250 ml of the (tepid / warm) water to a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Leave in a warm place for 5 minutes to dissolve.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the sifted flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted liquid.
- Mix with your hands, adding as much of the remaining warm water as needed to make a sort pliable dough.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured worktop and knead with your hands for 10 minutes so it becomes silky and elastic.
- Clean the large bowl, lightly oil it (an oil spray is good for this), add the dough, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
- Knock down and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle (35 cm x 20 cm (14" x 8")
- Cover with a cloth and leave to rest for a further 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the cheese, basil, garlic and a little of the rosemary over the dough then, starting from one of the shorter side, roll up like a Swiss roll.
- Place on an oiled baking sheet and punch holes in the surface. This is where the mozzarella cheese will erupt from while it bakes.
- Drizzle with half of the olive oil the sprinkle with chopped rosemary leaves, salt and pepper.
- Bake for 1 hour.
Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve warm.