*Easy Focaccia Recipe
The night before:
1. Mix roughly 4 cups of strong flour ( that means protein is 13-14g/100g flour), roughly equal parts water and a few flecks of instant/quick yeast.
2. Use one hand to hold the bowl, and the other to whip everything together, hand relaxed so that fingers are slightly parted. Whip until it is a sticky batter with bubbles starting to form.
3. Cover and let sit overnight*
*This is to give the flour time to absorb as much water as it can. The addition of yeast also starts a fermenting process, which makes the bread longer lasting and gives it more flavour.
The next day:
4. Add about 1 cup of flour, 7g of yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp fine sea salt and 1tbsp olive oil
5. Left hand holds bowl. Right hand mixes the ingredients together. Imagine the motion of an electric mixer ( smaller circles with your hand while your arm directs it clockwise in a bigger circle).
6. Pour VERY wet and sticky dough onto an (olive) oiled surface.
7. Fold the dough* then place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a cloth.
8. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, turn* and let rise one more hour.
*For more information about folding and turning the dough, click here
9. Prepare a baking sheet by evenly sprinkling cornmeal over the entire surface.
10. Oil your hands and work quickly ( the dough will be very wet) to stretch the dough to the shape of the tray.
11. On the tray, stretch the dough out to the edges and then let rest 30 minutes.
12. After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 220 C/ 428 F.
13. Drizzle olive oil ontop and rub in gently with your hands.
14. If you like, sprinkle thyme, coarse salt, or anything else you fancy ( sun dried tomatoes, olives, chopped rosemary, etc)
15. When the oven has reached the temperture, bake the focaccia.
16. Check on it after about 20 minutes. Tap the top and listen for a hollow sound.
17. When it sounds hollow, place on a cooling rack and try to resist feasting until it has cooled down*
*The focaccia is still technically cooking and if, by tearing into it, you let the steam escape, you are compromising its moistness...and you wouldn't want to do that.