Focaccia can't be beaten for its depth of flavour and versatility – you can top it with pretty much any variety of herbs and veg, depending on your preferences. Plus, we've recently been exposed to a new Instagram food trend: focaccia art. So, we thought there was probably no better time to learn how to bake this tasty bread from scratch and get in on the action.
This focaccia recipe is the latest in a series of ideas that Jamie Oliver has been tempting us with over on Instagram. Not only does it transport us straight to Italy, mentally, it also only calls for a handful of basic ingredients.
To make Jamie Oliver's focaccia, you will need:
- Strong white bread flour, 500 grams
- Yeast, 7 grams
- Lukewarm water, 325 millilitres
- Olive oil
- Polenta or semolina
1. To make his focaccia, Jamie Oliver begins by adding sifted flour to a bowl, with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
2. In a separate bowl – we'd recommend using a jug – he combines lukewarm water and yeast, which is then added to the flour. This should be stirred until everything comes together using a spoon.
3. Once the dough becomes too difficult to mix using a spoon, Jamie Oliver recommends getting your hands involved, kneading for around ten minutes so that it has a springy, elastic texture.
4. Jamie Oliver says that the next step is to create some humidity for the focaccia, so he places a bowl over the top of it and allows it to prove for 40 minutes. Once this time has passed, you should be left with a nice, soft dough.
5. Next, Jamie Olive adds a handful, or so, of polenta or semolina to the bottom of a baking tray, placing the dough on top of it. He then adds a liberal amount of olive oil to the top of the dough before poking loads of holed into it using his fingers.
6. At this stage, you can begin adding toppings to your focaccia. Either sprinkle a selection of herbs over the top or go to town with your focaccia art. Jamie's only tip is that you should rub any dry herbs you may choose to use in a little olive oil to bring out the flavour.
7. To create even more humidity, Jamie Oliver then takes a clean, damp cloth and places it over the baking tray before leaving the bread to prove for another 45 minutes.
8. Jamie Oliver then tops with sea salt, before placing in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 200ºC. As soon as it comes out of the oven, drizzle with a good amount of oil, leave to stand for at least 10 minutes and enjoy.