While they may have a bad name from the 1990’s, when the Italian original was bastardised by lesser bakers around Australia, the humble focaccia is a pressed out flatbread that is still remarkably delicious, especially on the day it’s baked. Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer Series 4
Fresh rosemary, pitted olives, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt - freshly baked focaccia made easy.
- 15 g fresh yeast (or 7 g dried)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 500 g (3⅓ cups) plain flour
- 1 tbsp salt
- 400 ml warm water
- 30 ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 20 small black olives, pitted
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked
- 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.
This recipe makes 1 large loaf
Resting time 1 hour
Mix the yeast, honey and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and set aside.
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and warm water. Knead well until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl well oiled with the olive oil (toss the dough in the oil to coat all over), cover with a damp tea-towel and leave to rise in a warmish spot for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 230 ˚C.
Punch the dough down, then knead again on a lightly floured surface for 6-7 minutes. Press the dough out onto a floured baking tray until about 1 cm-thick. Use your fingers to create indents in the dough. Scatter with olives and rosemary leaves, the drizzle with extra oil and scatter with salt. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with extra virgin olive for dipping or some goat’s cheese and eat it as you walk through your olive grove, willing the trees to grow.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok. Creative concept by Belinda So.