I've given this post a simple title but it is another of those foodie things that is simple but tastes wonderful. The wonderful comes from the ingredients. Good olive oil, rosmary from the garden and light bread dough. What could be better?
Well. in truth the addition of mashed potatoes to the dough helps it along quite a bit as it makes it last longer and it has a softer crumb which means that it is good to eat even on the second day.
Traditionally focaccia that you buy in Italy only stays fresh for a couple of hours. It is over yeasted to make it rise but this results in a bread that dries quickly. My Focaccia has the advantage of lasting but still tasting good.
What you will need:
500g strong bread flour
40g instant mash potato, this is about half a sachet.
7g fast action yeast
300ml water for the bread dough and'
150ml boiling water to reconstitute the potato
30ml olive oil plus 30mil water
1 teaspoon of rock salt.
Into a large bowl put the flour, 300g of water and the yeast. mix to a rough dough, cover and leave for about 10 minutes while you get on with the next stage.
Put the instant mased potatoes in a bowl and reconstitute with 15ml of boiling water. Mix well. You will have a dryish mixture. Do not be tempted to add more water. Add the salt to the potatoes and mix well. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then add to the flour mix. Beat it all together until you have a smooth but slightly tacky dough.
Leave in the bowl, covered with a damp tea towel or a plastic bag and then remove the bag and mix well for about 30 seconds. It will be soft enough for you to do this by hand. Sort of put your hand in the bowl, under the dough and mix it well. If you can't work this out then fold the dough over itself for about 8 turns. Should achieve the same outcome.
At 15 minute intervals, repeat this short kneeding process at least twice. By this time the dough shouldbe rising up the bowl and be soft and pillowy.
When the dough has at least doubled in size, put it in a greased baking tin. I tend to use a 26cm x 35cm baking tray that has 3cm sides. This makes a focaccia of the depth that you can see in the picture. If you want a thinner one then cook it in a larger tray.
Make sure that you have switched on your oven so that it is good and hot when you are ready to cook the focaccia.
Whisk the salamoia oil and water together and pour over the focaccia. Now dimple it with your fingers to get the charicteristic dimpling the you see on the focaccia surface. push some rosmary sprigs into the top of the focaccia and leave uncovered for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the rock sale.
Cook in a hot oven approx 250 celsius for adout 30 minutes. Check to see if it is cooked. It should be crisp and brown. If it isn't then leave it in the oven and check every 5 minutes until it is done to your liking.