Rosemary and Sea Salt Focaccia

Those eagle-eyed amongst you will note that the corner of this bread has been - er - removed before the photo was taken.

Sorry. I was hungry. You're lucky there's any left in the photograph at all, really. It's mostly thanks to Seymour insisting that I let him take a picture. For you, dear reader, because, well, what's a recipe without a mouthwatering picture?

The especially eagle-eyed will also have noted that I have written about focaccia in the past. This is the New Improved recipe. I've improved the dough consistency this time, but that other article has lots of helpful pictures, so feel free to check it out.

Here we go, then.

Rosemary and Sea Salt Focaccia

500g/17 oz/3⅓ cups strong plain flour
1 tsp instant dried yeast
2 tsp table salt
100g/3½ oz/½ cup vegetable oil
250ml/8 fl oz/1 cup water

Olive oil to brush over the top.
Toppings of your choice (I used rosemary and sea salt)

1. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a large bowl.

2. Tip the dough onto a clean surface and knead it for a few minutes until it becomes smooth.

3. Place the upturned mixing bowl over the dough and leave it to rise for about 45 minutes.

4. Grease a flapjack tin (Is that a technical term? Do you know what I mean by a flapjack tin?)

5. Roll the dough out to be the same size as the tin.

6. Place the dough in the tin and brush the top with olive oil.

7. Leave the dough to prove for a further 45 minutes or so. The timing's not crucial.

8. Use all your fingers to poke holes in the top of the focaccia. I say 'top' but where else could you start, really?! The indents will go right down to the tin but won't be actual see-through holes, per se.

9. Sprinkle on the toppings of your choice. Many people like sundried tomatoes, olives, pesto or garlic. Anything goes - a bit like pizza, but the topping on focaccia is usually quite sparse.

I picked some rosemary from the garden and tore the leaves from the stem, breaking them up to scatter them over the dough. I added a generous sprinkling of Malden salt too.

10. Bake at 180oC/360F for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. The usual disclaimer about me having a very fierce oven applies here, of course - I bake at a lower-than-recommended temperature for fear of making bread that is black on the outside and raw in the middle.

11. Eat. I don't need to tell you how to do that, do I?!

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