This recipe needs advance preparation!
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.
- 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 oregano, 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, preheat 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. For the Panasonic SD-ZB2502 automatic breadmaker, use menu option 21, French dough rise.
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.
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