To make this recipe of fluffy focaccia you need to bear in mind that at least 4 hours are needed, so better plan ahead. I also advise that you read the recipe through first and then start.
I made this as the main bread that was going to accompany our Christmas Eve dinner and within minutes there was none left. The secret is to really leave the starter rise, and to have a good oven of course!
330 gr strong white bread flour
1 tsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
100gr pitted kalamata olives
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
420ml bottled still spring water luke warm
330g strong white bread flour
1. To make the starter put the yeast and water in a large bowl and stir until the yeast dissolves. Add the flour and stir until there is a porridge-like consistency. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave somewhere warm (like a radiator) for about two hours or until it has doubled in size.
2. Mix the starter with the flour, sugar and olive oil. Knead for about six minutes, then add the salt and knead further until the salt is mixed through.
3. Brush a large bowl with oil, place the dough in it and brush the surface of the dough with more oil. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for one hour or until the dough has again doubled in size.
4. Turn the dough on to a floured bench and stretch and flatten it into a rectangle. Take one of the short ends of the rectangle and fold it into the centre, take the other end and fold it over the first one to form three layers of dough.
5. Brush a heavy baking tray with oil. Lift the dough on to the tray and flatten it by pressing hard with your hands. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for another hour. During this time check on the dough a couple of times and press it down, spreading it to the edges of the tray.
6. Preheat the oven to 220C. Press the olives and rosemary into the top of the focaccia and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the oven for 10 mins and then reduce the heat to 190C and continue for 15-20 mins or until golden. When it is out of the oven and still hot brush with plenty of olive oil.