"This is a typical Italian bread recipe from the home of the best focaccia and olive oil in the world - Liguria! Remember to use good quality extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, and to allow sufficient time for the dough to rise before baking. Serve with wood-fired chicken with white wine and oregano and caponata." Andre Ursini, Poh & Co.
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 10 g dried yeast
- 300 ml warm water, approximately
- 600 g (4 cups) bread flour, plus extra, for dusting
- 200 g semolina flour
- 200 g mashed Desiree potato, about 1 large
- 20 g fine sea salt
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 large sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
- sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time 1 hour
This mixture makes 1 large loaf or two small loaves.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Place the sugar and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the warm water in a thin stream and stir with a fork to help dissolve the yeast, then stand for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the flour and semolina flour and stir to combine well. Add the mashed potato, salt and olive oil and use your hands to combine well. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water in small increments.
Drizzle a little olive oil over a large non-stick baking tray. The size of the tray isn’t really important - just use whatever you have available, even if its two small baking trays or an oven-proof non-stick frying pan.
Roll out the dough using your hands, then place it into the baking tray and use your hands to stretch it into shape. Using your fingertips, create small potholes in the top of the dough, then drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and scatter with the rosemary leaves. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Finish with another drizzle of good olive oil and sea salt flakes.