Focaccia (River Cottage Bread)

This loaf is a little smaller at 400g (not 500g) – I find this is a better amount for stand mixers and is a plenty enough for 2 people.

In a mixing bowl, combine 400g strong white bread flour, with 7g dried yeast, 10g salt and 265ml hand warm water. Knead until it starts coming together and then add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Continue to knead by hand (10 mins) or in a stand mixer (6-7 mins). Leave to rise somewhere warm for 1 hour.

Next knock out the air with your fingers and lay the dough on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Using your hands shape into a large square, about 30cm by 20cm. Leave to rise again until roughly doubled in size.

Place a baking tray in the oven to warm and put to 250c.

Finally, just before putting in the oven, use your fingers to poke holes right to the bottom of the bread. Either drizzle or brush over copious olive oil, a good sprig of finely chopped rosemary, and a chefs pinch of sea salt flakes.

Gently slide the bread onto the hot baking tray and cook for 8 mins at 250c and another 8 mins at 200c, turning the bread 180 at the halfway point if your oven cooks unevenly.


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