Including garlic in bread dough itself, I found out the hard way, can impair the dough's ability to rise. This recipe avoids this pitfall by adding the garlic as a topping instead. Focaccia is very easy to make and is always popular with the whole family. My children devour it.
- 750 ml (3 cups) flour, plus extra for dusting
- 7 g (1/4oz) packet fast action yeast
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
- 400 ml (1 3/4 cup) warm water
- (5-10 ml) 1-2 teaspoons honey or sugar
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra for oiling
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
- sea salt
1. Place the flour, yeast and 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
2. Fill a measuring jug with just over 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) warm water and stir in the honey or sugar and olive oil. Pour most of this mixture into the bowl of" flour, stirring with a wooden spoon or your fingers to bring the dough together. Add a little more water if necessary until the dough has a soft, slightly wet consistency that is easily workable.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead for at least 10 minutes, until it becomes elastic and smooth.
4. Clean, dry and oil the bowl before placing the dough back in, then cover with oiled plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 37S°F.
6. Once the dough has risen, knock it back on a clean floured work surface. Shape the dough into one or two oval-shaped flat loaves, transfer onto baking pans then leave to rise again for about 20 minutes.
7. In the meantime, pour 30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil into a small bowl, crush in the garlic cloves, stir in the chopped rosemary and mix well.
8. When the dough has risen, make holes in it with your fingertips then pour over the garlic and rosemary mixture, making sure it gets into the holes.
9. Sprinkle with plenty of sea salt and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and hollowsounding when tapped on the bottom.
10.Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
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