A semi-flat bread, Focaccia is often topped prior to baking with olives, cheese, herbs, cured meats and the like.

The beauty of it is that it cooks in no time at all and freezes well. Focaccia is a brilliant accompaniment to a summer BBQ and is a great crowd pleaser. We serve it cut into squares and piled onto a rustic wooden chopping board.

Focaccia keeps for only a day, but freezes well and eats superbly when gently re- heated in a low oven.

Ingredients
  • Serves 12
  • 500g plain, or strong flour
  • 2 sachets easy-blend dried yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 400ml lukewarm water
  • large handful roughly chopped rosemary, sage, or thyme leaves 12 green or black olives
  • Large pinch of rough sea salt
Method
  • Put the flour, yeast, salt and oil in a roomy bowl and mix in most of the water with a wooden spoon, stirring to form a very soft gooey dough.
  • Turn out and knead on a floured worktop for about five minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  • Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm part of the kitchen for one hour until doubled in size (on top of a kitchen cupboard would be perfect)
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • Lightly oil a baking tray or Swiss roll tin and tip in the dough.
  • Now, with your fingers, gently spread the dough out to the edges of the tray, flattening it as you go. Scatter with the herbs and gently ‘dib’ the surface of the dough with your fingertips making deep depressions in the surface. Sprinkle over the olives and sea salt and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for about twenty to thirty minutes, or until golden.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes or so. Cut into squares and serve.