Inspired by a really simple focaccia recipe in HFW’s ‘Bread’ I decided to experiment with a few different flavours. Here, I added sundried tomatoes, anchovies and fresh basil to the satisfyingly squidgy doughy mixture and the result was a resounding success. You could add anything you want to yours -mozzarella, olives, pepperoni, pineapple… your favourite pizza toppings! It makes the perfect picnic item – easy for transporting, ripping apart and sharing (that’s if you can manage to resist the temptation to eat it warm straight from the oven!)
Tomato, anchovie and basil focaccia recipe
500g white bread flour (organic is best!)
5g instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups of warm water
4 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse sea salt (to flavour – remember that the anchovies add a natural saltiness)
5 large sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
50g tin of anchovy fillets in garlic olive oil, roughly chopped
Handful of torn fresh basil
– makes one large focaccia –
- Add the yeast to the warm water and give a good mix
- In a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt and yeast water – give it a good mix and then add the 1 tablespoon of the olive oil
- Remove the mix from the bowl on to a well floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes (if you add olive oil to your hands before it will prevent the dough from sticking to them)
- Shape the dough in to a ball, rub over with a little more olive oil and then pop it in a large mixing bowl and cover with cling film.
- Pierce several holes in the cling film and then leave somewhere not too cold, to let the dough rise (after approx 1 hour the dough should have almost doubled in size)
- Remove the dough from the bowl, and with your fingers, press the dough in to a rectangular baking dish (approx 10×14 inches) so that it’s pushed right in to the corners.
- Leave to rise for a further 30 minutes
- Pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees (or as high as your oven will go)
- Select your toppings (the tomatoes, anchovies and fresh basil) and using your fingers, press them down in to potholes in the bread. Once you’ve added all of your selected items, drizzle all over with the rest of the olive oil and bake for 10 minutes at the highest heat.
- Turn down the oven to 200 degrees and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving