Friday - the end of a long week, made longer by a particularly trying day - Pink off school, dog doing a runner after some deer... it wasn't good. A relief then that supper was going to be an easy soup and pud affair. To go with the bacon, sweetcorn and red pepper chowder that I was thinking of, I decided to knock up some foccacia. The rosemary in the trough outside the kitchen window is looking lovely at the moment, and this bread is a simple way to let its flavour shine.
It's very straightforward bread to make, and I love the involvement, pushing your fingers into the rectangle of puffy dough to make the little holes, drizzling the olive oil, sprinkling with herbs and salt and making something delicious with very little effort.
for the bread -
500g strong white flour
1 sachet powdered dried yeast
10g fine salt
325ml warm water
1tbsp olive oil
for the topping -
3 springs of rosemary - 'leaves' only, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
To make the dough. mix the flour, yeast & salt together in a large bowl. Mix the olive oil and water together, pour into the dry ingredients & mix with a fork, or your hand until you've got a very rough dough. You can then either knead this by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook till the dough is smooth & silky. This could take up to 10 minutes if you are kneading by hand.
Shape the dough into a ball, and leave to rise in a clean bowl. Some people will coat their dough lightly in olive oil to do this. I didn't bother this time. You will need to cover your bowl for the rise - I usually use 2 plastic carrier bags - over the top of the bowl.
When the dough has doubled in size (a good couple of hours), tip the dough onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and press into a rectangle about 25 cm by 35 cm. Cover with a clean tea towle and leave to rise again for about half an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 250C or as hot as it will go. When the rectangle of dough is puffed up and airy, poke deep holes across the suface with your finger tips.
Drizzle reasonably generously with olive oil across the top of the dough, then sprinkle the chopped rosemary, garlic and sea salt over the top
Bake in the oven for 10 mins at the high temperatue, then reduce the tempoerature to 200C and bake for a further 10 minutes till golden and delicious looking.
Leave the bread to cool for at least 10 minutes - it tastes better warm, then tear apart and eat.
I'm linking this up to the lovely Herbs on Saturday challenge for September hosted by Karen at Lavender & Lovage.. This is a simple recipe, but the rosemary is definitely the star flavour of this bread.