While this Italian flatbread originates from Liguria, there are variations all over Italy including versions with cheese, tomato, potato and capsicum. Meyer lemons suit this recipe because they're not as acidic as the more common Lisbon and Eureka varieties. If using Meyer lemons, reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes.
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
- 200 ml olive oil
- 7 g sachet dry yeast
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 500 g bread flour ('00') or strong plain flour, sifted
- 8 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
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 and 30 minutes
Toss lemons in 2 tbsp olive oil and set aside.
Place yeast, sugar and half the salt in a bowl. Add 250 ml warm water and set aside for 5 minutes or until foaming. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Reserving 1 tbsp oil, add remaining 140 ml oil and the flour, mixing on low speed until a very soft, sticky dough forms. Knead on medium-high speed for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.
Shape dough into a 22 cm x 35 cm rectangle and place on a lightly oiled oven tray. Using your fingertips, press dough all over to form small dimples. Brush dough with reserved 1 tbsp olive oil, then top with lemon slices, rosemary and remaining 1 tsp salt. Cover with greased plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Bake focaccia for 30 minutes or until lightly golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped with your fingers. Serve hot or cold.
Photography Derek Swalwell