This foccaccia is a prime example of a crowd-pleaser. Not much effort is involved – just a bit of time, patience and love necessary for the yeast to do its thing and you’ve got yourself a wonderful addition for any entertaining occasion. You can play with the toppings – our favourites are fragrant olives and succulent sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, but actually the final touch on this wonderful bread can be anything you fancy – herbs, spices, onions, cheese… You can even put two or three different toppings on their respective sections of the foccaccia and thus minimize the effort and maximize the variety. Use mild olive oil so that it doesn’t overpower the basic ingredients.
- 1 kg white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 500 g whole grain wheat flour
- 950 ml water
- 20 g active fresh yeast
- 1,5 tablespoons sea salt, plus extra for final seasoning
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- extra virgin olive oil
- toppings as desired – rosemary, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, dried fruit, figs or a combination
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. As soon as all the ingredients come together, after a minute or so, knead vigorously for around 5 minutes until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
- Lightly oil another large bowl with some olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Dust with a little extra flour, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled in size.
- To cook the focaccia, as soon as the dough has risen, pound it then place on a baking tray and spread it out to cover the tray. Push down roughly on top of the dough to make lots of small wells.
- Place the toppings on the prepared focaccia, making sure to press lightly so that the topping sticks. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Leave to prove for 20 minutes then bake for 30 minutes at 180C, until golden on top and soft in the middle.
Recipe courtesy of Ana-Marija Bujić,