# Wednesday, 05 January 2011

Baking foccacia with the girls (includes recipe)

Shayna Brocho has been asking me for a few days to bake with her. She particularly wanted to make foccacia, which is a sort of olive-oil bread, and is absolutely delicious. Well, we got around to it this afternoon, so I thought I would post up the results, along with the recipe in case anyone else is interested.

Ingredients

  • 1lb 2oz (500g) of strong white bread flour, plus a bit extra for kneading
  • 7g of dried yeast, or the equivalent of fresh (dunno how much, we used dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 6 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil (I don't reckon you need anything like this much, see later)
  • 10fl oz (300ml) of hand-hot water
  • 2 tablespoons of rosemary leaves (we used dried rosemary, which usually comes ground up, but works fine)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of coarse sea salt (we used quite a bit more than this)

Method

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and fine salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the water and one tablespoon olive oil, and mix into a soft dough. Shayna Brocho and Chana Liba took turns doing this, and made a right royal mess!

Shayna Brocho (r) and Chana Liba (l) kneading dough
  1. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is smooth and stretchy. They took turns here too, as their arms were hurting after a few minutes.
  2. Lightly oil a baking sheet or tin, approximately 8in by 12in (20cm by 30cm).

Chana Liba oiling the tray
  1. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about the same size, and place on/in the sheet/tin.
  2. Cover with a damp tea towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for about 90 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230 degress C, 450 degrees F or Gas Mark 8 (whichever you prefer).
  4. Using your fingertips (they really liked this bit!), makes loads of dimples all over the surface of the dough.
  5. Dribble the remaining olive oil over the dough, and scatter the rosemary on top. As I said above, the recipe reckons you need about five tablespoons of olive oil for this, but we found that we didn't need that much - and we did put plenty on!
  6. Sprinkle the coarse salt on top of this, and bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
  7. Put onto a cooling rack, and when cool, cut into squares.

Simple enough for young children to be involved, and fairly quick and easy. The end result? Well, see for yourself...

The finished foccacia

I had some with my supper later. It was delicious.

Note that foccacia is best eaten while still warm, and can go hard if left for too long. It's best made in time to eat it from the oven, but if you have any left over (unlikely to be honest) then 20 seconds in the microwave softens it up nicely.

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