Basil Cherry Tomato Focaccia Bread

COVID-19 Movement Control – Day 24. Good Friday!
As expected, MCO extended for another 2 weeks. I’m neutral on this new update cause kind of expecting it and feel it is the right thing to do. At the same time, while I’m missing the freedom and human vibes, I know I will miss this new norm when this whole MCO is behind us.
So, stay in and let’s do more baking 😉. Baking is so therapeutic and the smell when it’s cooking in the oven is so up-lifting.
I’m using Tefal Natura Gratin dish to bake this Focaccia and Tefal Comfort bread knife to cut it.
Bread Dough
  • 1.5 cups of lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp (8 gram) of yeast
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 Cups of Strong White Bread Flour
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Toppings

  • 3 bunches of vine cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup mixed olives (optional)
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil

 Method

  1. Add yeast to lukewarm water. Add olive oil and maple syrup. Leave it for 5 minutes and let the yeast to activate.
  2. Place flour and sea salt into a large bowl, stir and make a well in the middle.
  3. Slowly pour yeast mixture into the well, mixing with a fork as you go.
  4. As soon as all the ingredients come together, which may take a minute or so, knead vigorously for around 5 minutes until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl with some olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Dust with a little extra flour, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size.
  6. While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 220°C and prepare the toppings.
  7. To cook the focaccia, as soon as the dough has risen, pound it, then place on a baking tray and spread it out to cover the tray. Push down roughly on top of the dough with fingers to make rough dips and wells.
  8. Press tomatoes in focaccia. Press olives in, if using. Place basil and rosemary inside the bread.
  9. Season with pepper. Finish with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  10. Leave to prove for a further 20 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes, until golden on top and soft in the middle.

Sliced and pan fried Focaccia. Had it with mushroom and egg and baby spinach for lunch.

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