sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the best and whilst I’ve sung praises about the low-knead bread baking method on numerous occasions I love it so much that it’s now my ‘go to’ method for all bread types. It produces a wonderful, natural airy quality to the finished loaf that I have found a struggle to achieve using the regular full-knead method that I simply don’t bother now. One of the great things about this method is that the wetter you dare to allow the flour to get the more ‘Italianesque’ the finished loaf will be, you can really go to town with additions such as olive oil and herbs too.
I always think the best focaccia bread has a cakey, pizza dough quality to it and it’s one of the only breads that you can eat directly from the oven, after it’s been drenched in oil, so you get that instant pizza-base hit that I adore… not genius for the waistline but who counting?
sometimes when you know an ingredient is so good you really don’t want to mess with it too much in order to fully appreciate the taste… this is how I feel about this glorious bottle of Marques de Guadalmina extra virgin olive oil which is why this simple, rustic focaccia was the first thing that came to mind when I tasted the divine liquid. The oil has a grassy quality to it that I love in an olive oil, yet it doesn’t taste acrid or too ripe, there’s a depth of favour that makes this the perfect oil to use as a condiment rather than just a cooking aid…
makes 2 focaccia loaves in two 30cm x 20cm baking trays
800g strong white bread flour
650 ml water
2 teaspoons easy bake yeast
2 teaspoons salt
plenty of extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 large sprigs of rosemary
plenty of sea salt or kosher salt flakes
I have a step by step photo guide to the low-knead method here but it’s not too hard to follow with these notes:
place the flour, yeast and salt into a very large ceramic bowl and then pour over the water and bring it all together with a rubber spatula until you have a sticky mess – clean the spatula as you’ll need it again shortly, then cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside for 10 minutes
drizzle a generous amount of oil onto your work surface and spread it around with your hand, then with the oiled hand remove the dough from the bowl and place it onto the oiled surface, use the spatula to scrape out the bowl. Take some oil and drizzle into the bowl and wipe around the inside of the bowl. Now knead the dough 8 times then place back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel.
repeat this twice more then cover the bowl in cling film and set aside for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size
oil your surface one final time and remove the dough from the bowl and punch it down, fold it over itself and punch down again, turn one quarter, fold and punch, repeat twice more and set aside
sprinkle some olive oil into both baking trays and spread around with your hands, now cut the dough in half and place each half into one of the baking trays and push it out to the edges… it won’t fully cooperate but play with it quite freely and it will stretch, then set aside for 30 mins and during this time it will fill the trays and rise a little
oil your finger and push regular indents into the dough, then take a small sprig of rosemary and place it into each hole
bake on 190C for 20 mins or until it starts to turn golden then remove from the oven and generously drizzle the top of each focaccia with more olive oil and then sprinkle with salt… you can be as generous as you like here, I like it very salty but the viking was not so keen
set aside to cool for a few moments before tearing apart with you teeth
eat and of course, enjoy!
Katie Bryson says
This is one of the first types of bread I had a go at making after a course at Leiths years ago – so delicious and your gorgeous version has reminded me I need it back in my life! I also love making caramelised onions to go on top 🙂
Sally Sellwood says
We made foccacia on the River Cottage Baking course and it was out of this world – although an obscene amount of olive oil went into it. Must make it again
Lucy Porter says
Delicious 🙂 I'll be referring to this recipe next year when I've moved back to the UK and am craving some Italian bread action! Another great addition to focaccia that doesn't overpower the flavour is potatoes. Ok so you're adding carbs to carbs which is even worse for the waistline but who cares? :S
La Lingua : Food, Life, Love, Travel, Friends, Italy
london bakes says
I love focaccia – it's definitely one of my absolute favourite breads to tear into especially with those classic flavours of rosemary and olive oil.
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Christian Halfmann says
That focaccia looks really lovely and with some salt and oil sounds absolutely the right way to enjoy it. Well, I have to put rosemary now definitely on my list to have on my windowsill.
My Little Space says
Hi there, such a delicious focaccia. Hope you can submit this recipe to the 'International Yeasted Recipe' event at here.
Looking forward to seeing you there soon.
Orange Kitchen says
I'll make a salad to go with it. XXX
Mark Willis says
That's more like it! I prefer this sort of thing to cakes… just need some little bowls of oil and vinegar to dip it in.
Jenn C says
I adore focaccia bread.. and making with rosemary and lots of olive oil just makes it that much better!! It looks absolutely lovely!!
Anne Szadorska says
Ohhh I love the earthy rosemary flavour with bread, I bet it was divine freshly baked! Loving the low knead option too, much easier on my arms!
Focaccia drenched in olive oil sounds divine Dom. I'm so hungry. I'm a big fan of no knead now as well. All those years I spent hours kneading …
This simply prepare rosemary focaccia is proof that simple is best-beautiful.
Karen S Booth says
OH yes Dom, what a FABULOUS bread recipe and such lovely photos too! I adore rosemary with this style of bread as well……quite divine! See you next week 🙂
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Your focaccia looks delicious…I will be trying your low knead version soon.
Your focaccia looks lovely! I love rosemary focaccia but hubby doesn't like rosemary so I haven't made it in forever. Maybe it's time to try it again.