Focaccia

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh thyme & rosemary (or use dried if necessary, can try other things like sage)
  • Black pepper
  • 260g strong white flour (check this)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml warm water
  • More oil and flakey salt for the top, also semolina for crunch
  • Decorative toppings – halved small tomatoes, garlic cloves, sprigs of herbs, red pepper, artichoke heats, olives etc

Put the oil in a pan and gently heat with the garlic, herbs and pepper. This is more to infuse than to cook, so don’t let it go too far.

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the warm water and then the oil mixture (make sure it is not too hot or it will kill the yeast). Beat it up with a wooden spoon until it is really claggy.

Tip the mixture into an oiled brownie tin and spread it out a bit by stretching with two spoons. (Or you can probably just make it in puddle on a flat tray if you want to.) Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Put the oven on really hot – 230 degrees if possible. Some people put a tray of water in the bottom of the oven – worth trying to see what it does to the crust.

Gently dimple the surface of the dough with your fingers then drizzle a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with flakey salt. You can also try dusting with semolina – it should take up the oil and go crunchy. Or try decorating with bits of veg.

Cook for 15 mins until golden brown on top. It will need a bit longer if your oven is not so hot. Take out and cool on a rack. Eat fresh.