Sun dried tomato, roast pepper and caramelised red onion focaccia
This is a rich Italian bread characterised by dimples, which act as little pockets for olive oil or your filling of choice. These flavours are a nice mix of sweet and sour but experiment with your own.
- 500g flour
- 10g salt
- 2 teaspoons dried herbs, optional
- 335g water
- 10g fresh yeast/5g dried yeast
- 100g olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons to pour on the focaccia
- 100g sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 roasted peppers
- 100g caramelised red onion
- Sea salt flakes to finish
Makes 1 large or 2 medium loaves
- Mix the flour, salt and herbs in a bowl or on a clean surface and make a well in the centre. Crumble the yeast into the water so that it dissolves, then add it to the well, along with the 100g of olive oil.
- Bring together with your hands or a spatula, then turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes or until you can see the windowpane effect. Don’t panic if you find your dough a little wet. Be persistent: as you knead the dough will slowly come together, resist the urge to add any additional flour.
- Once ready, the dough should be soft and elastic. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and allow to prove for 60 minutes.
- After it has proved, knock back the dough, cut it into two equal pieces and form each piece into a ball. Lightly press each ball with your fingertips to flatten it, slowly working the dough out like a pizza base. Try not to rip or tear the dough with your fingers. The dough has a natural tendency to shrink, therefore it is best to work the dough in stages. Roughly shape the first piece of dough into a round slightly bigger than a side plate, place to one side and allow to rest as you work on the second dough.
- Continue pressing and forming the dough circles until they are about 1cm thick. The dough should resemble a thick crust pizza base. Push your fingertips into the surface to create dimples, transfer the dough to a baking tray, then pour on the remaining olive oil, smoothing it over the surface and pushing in more dimples if needed.
- Add your chosen toppings, pushing the toppings gently into the dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes.
- Just before baking,top each focaccia with sea salt. Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas mark 8. Bake the focaccia for about 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Once cooked,drizzle with olive oil and allow to cool.
Recipe Series: Breaking Bread
Discover the joys of baking your own bread with expert baker Patrick Ryan of the Firehouse Bakery, who takes us back to basics and beyond.
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