Olive oil bread
This is a focaccia type recipe but the dimples are irregular there are not so many of them. I have started by making an overnight sponge, to encourage yeast acitivity, but you can omit that stage if you like amd mix in all the ingredients at the same time.See 'Variations' below for instructions on partially or fully making this bread in a breadmaker.
- 15g fresh yeast or 1x7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
- 320g sparkling mineral water
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 20g semolina
- 10g salt
- 50g olive oil + 4 tbsps, plus a little extra for brushing
- Coarse rock or sea salt
- Dried or fresh oragano, to taste
- Make an overnight sponge by dissolving the yeast in the water and mixing into half the flour and all the semolina - if using dried yeast, just stir it in with the flour before adding the water.
- The following morning, mix in the remaining flour, salt and 50g olive oil to form a sticky dough, adding more water if necessary.
- Knead, using your chosen method.
- Shape into a ball and leave to rest in a lightly oiled bowl, until almost double its size.
- Lightly flour the worksurface and empty the dough onto it.
- Gently deflate the dough and knead briefly.
- Repeat steps 4-6, omitting the kneading.
- Lightly oil a pie dish (see Chef's notes below) and place the dough in the pie dish.
- Drizzle the 4 tablespoons oil over the top and push the dough gently towards the sides of the dish.
- Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for 45 minutes.
- Dimple the dough sporadically and prove for a further 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 220° C (425° F - gas 7), [fan oven 200° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour].
- Sprinkle the dough with the oregano and coarse sea or rock salt.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Slide onto a wire rack and brush with a little more olive oil whilst still hot.
- Allow to cool before cutting or tearing.
You can make the whole thing in a breadmaker, but you will have a brick shaped loaf. However, you can use it to do the hard work for stages 2-7. In either case, select the Italian setting or the setting for which you have a focaccia recipe in the manufacturer's recipe booklet.
The tin I used to make this bread is made by Falcon, It is an enamel pie dish measuring 24cm and is just right for this bread.
These dishes are easy to clean - if anything sticks, just soak in hot water for a short while. They are also very inexpensive.