The vibrant colours in this focaccia are so Italian, bellissimo!
- 500 g bread flour
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt flakes
- 300 ml warm water
- olive oil spray, for greasing
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 400 g medley mix tomatoes
- extra, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp rosemary leaves
- extra, sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
- basil oil, for serving
Basil oil (makes 1 cup)
- 2 cups basil leaves, approximately 1 large bunch
- 1 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
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.
Makes 1 x 32 cm focaccia
Standing time 1 hour
Combine the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Using a dough hook turn the mixer onto low and combine the ingredients.
Gradually pour in the combined water and oil while the mixer is still running. Increase to a medium speed and “knead” the dough for 5 minutes.
Turn the dough onto the bench and lightly oil the mixing bowl with spray, return the dough to the oiled bowl and roll the dough around so that it is coated in oil. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. A warm windowsill or over a sink of hot water works well if it’s a cool day.
Once the dough has doubled in size turn onto the bench and knead for a few minutes until the dough is back to its original size.
Pour half of the extra oil into a 32 cm ovenproof frying pan. Roll out the dough to the approximate size of the frying pan and lift into the pan. Cover again with a clean tea towel and place back in a warm spot for another 30 minutes until it has again doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Using your fingers push indents into the dough, covering the surface. Push the tomatoes into the indents, evenly spaced. Brush liberally with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and extra salt flakes. Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
Serve warm with basil oil.
To make the basil oil, blanch the basil, place the basil leaves into a heat resistant bowl, pour over boiling water and stand for 10 seconds. Drain immediately and plunge into a bowl or iced water, allow to stand for a few minutes until cold.
Drain the basil leaves and thoroughly squeeze out the water, combine with the oil, salt and pepper in a small processor and blend until the basil is pureed.
Strain using a fine sieve and store in a clean jar, in the refrigerator for up to a month. Return to room temperature before serving.
• For a more rustic basil oil, leave the oil unstrained.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.