Thursday, 28 March 2013

Focaccia - Bread Challenge No 6

As I reach number 6 of my dough challenge I would firstly like to thank my bosses Ben Aveling and Vicky Rogers for being so supportive,interested and encouraging for what I am doing and secondly would very much like to welcome any new reader who has found their way here via The Old Red Lion or Radmore farm Shop facebook and twitter feed. I hope that you enjoy the read, attempt the recipe or even just pop along to the pub and enjoy the taste of traditional homemade bread.
So today let's talk Focaccia!
Focaccia - a light Italian flatbread made from a soft dough and flavoured with olive oil.
 It had been my intention to attempt this bread nearer the end of my challenge as I thought it was a more complex dough to make but, having completed the challenge successfully today, I concur that it wasnt any harder than my previous challenges and that it is truly a gorgeous soft bread if eaten fresh from the oven.
500g Strong White Bread Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tsp Fast Action Yeast
1-2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
6 Tbsp Olive Oil
300ml Lukewarm Water

1 Green Pepper
8 Sun-Dried Tomato halves
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove garlic
Sea Salt Flakes & Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
A few sprigs Rosemary.

Combine the flour,salt and yeast in a bowl. Stir in the chopped rosemary and add the oil. Mix in enough of the lukewarm water to form a soft and slightly sticky dough. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and pliable - usually about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn over so it's coated in oil. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for about an hour in a warm area.
While the dough is rising prepare the topping.
Deseed the pepper and cut into 2cm chunks. Put into a mixing bowl with 2tbsp olive oil and stir round until coated. Heat a frying pan and chargrill the pepper over a high heat until speckled with dark-brown patches. Put back into the bowl, add the crushed garlic and a little salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
When the dough has risen punch down into it to deflate and disperse the gas. Turn the dough onto an oiled baking tray, press and shape into a rough square with your hands. Press your fingers into the dough to make dimples.

Poke fresh rosemary sprigs into these dimples, scatter the tomatoes over and top with the pepper mixture. Leave to rise for a further 20 minutes and turn on your oven to preheat to 220C/425F/gas7.
When risen, drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the top and season with salt and pepper and put in the oven.
Bake for 10mins,then reduce the temperature to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and cook for a further 15mins until the edges and base are a good golden brown.
Best served warm and certainly a big hit amongst the staff and customers last night! A lovely soft and tasty bread.
Green Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

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