Most of the time I use my bread-maker for a quick and easy loaf of bread but there is something special about getting more hands-on with bread making. I particularly love focaccia bread because you brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh herbs (or add olives and other goodies if you prefer).
1 tsp salt
4g yeast sachet
330ml lukewarm water
Sea salt and fresh herbs (e.g. rosemary, oregano, thyme)
Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix to form a dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for at least 10 minutes by hand or 6 minutes with a dough mixer, until the dough is smooth and elastic. I just put it all in the bread maker and let it go until it stops mixing.
Cover the dough and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a thickness of about 2cm. Place dough in an oiled 20 x 30cm tray, lightly dust with flour and cover with a loose sheet of plastic or damp tea towel. I often skip the first bit and just press the dough into a 20 x 30 cm tin.
Place in a warm, moist place and allow it to rise for about 30 minutes. I put off making bread for ages because I don’t have a hot water cupboard and didn’t know where to put it that would be warm enough for it to rise. But then someone told me that you could put it in the oven on a low heat ~40C – it works!
Press deep dimples into the dough with your finger tips (flour them first or the dough will stick to them). Brush the top with olive oil and top with herbs and sea salt. Allow the dough to recover for 10 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.
* You can purchase a pre-packaged Pizza Dough mix and use that to make Focaccia if you want a really easy and fool-proof approach.