Back to basics. How to make perfect focaccia with a delicious herby topping. Simply delicious, homemade bread has never been so easy to make!
I was lucky enough to be contacted by the lovely people at BakingMad.com about working on a campaign to share an easy and tasty bread recipe using Allinson flour – I jumped at the chance because they’re a well known baking website here in the UK and I’m a frequent user of Allinsons baking products. Whenever I make homemade bread I also have Allinson flour and other baking products (such as their easy bake yeast) in my store cupboard. Every time you’re guaranteed to get the perfect, lightest and crisp bread.
I received this great hamper (pictured below), it was full of some amazing baking goodies. Included was two types of the Allinson flour – strong white bread flour (which I used in this focaccia recipe) and a packet of very strong wholemeal flour – which I’m definitely planning on making a basic, but delicious brown loaf with. I also received some of their easy bake yeast, a small loaf tin, a Lakeland dough scraper and a bag to keep my bread fresh in! So now I’m even more well equipped for bread making!
When I was given the options on what to bake I couldn’t help but be drawn to choosing the herb focaccia recipe. If you read my blog regularly you’ll probably know much I absolutely LOVE Italian food and all things Italian! I’ve visited the country a couple of times and simply adore the food and culture. One of my favourite recipes is classic Italian-style bread. Italian bread for me is a recipe I bake on a regular basis. There’s something about the rich olive oil flavour and the different toppings you can add that makes me enjoy baking focaccia so much. This focaccia today is one of the best I’ve made and it certainly went down a treat with my taste testers, getting devoured almost instantly and me being asked several times “when are you going to bake this again?”!
What I loved most about this focaccia dough from the Baking Mad website was how easy and straight forward the recipe was. Once you know the basics of bread making you will be able to create and bake some of the best homemade bread. The recipe required a herb topping, I used some homegrown Tuscan rosemary, some aromatic sage leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. All the herbs really flavour the focaccia so beautifully and pair extremely well with the drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt. But you can really adapt and top this tasty bread with any ingredients you like. I really enjoy topping mine with sliced cherry tomatoes and oregano to make a traditional focaccia al pomodoro.
This focaccia fresh from the oven is simply so delicious. I really like it warm when it’s crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, but it’s also great cool the next day dipped into olive oil and balsamic. That’s definitely a winning combination in my books!
Makes 1 Focaccia – recipe from BakingMad.com
500g of Allinson strong white flour
2 tsp of salt
7g of fast action dried yeast (1 packet Allinson Easy Bake Yeast Sachet)
1 tsp of sugar
300ml of warm water
50ml of olive oil
Herb topping -
12 sage leaves, torn
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
5 sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano
1 tsp of sea salt
Olive oil, for drizzling
1. In a large mixing bowl add the flour. Add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other. Add the sugar and then mix to combine.
2. Mix together the water and oil and then add the flour mix. Using a wooden spoon mix together until a soft and sticky dough comes together. Then lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough by hand until smooth and elastic for 10 minutes.
3. Once kneaded, lightly oil a bowl and add the dough. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
4. When doubled in size lightly grease a 22 cm x 33 cm baking tin with a little oil. Add the dough and press out into the tin until roughly even. Cover the tray and again leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
5. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 200 degrees. Scatter over the herbs, drizzle the focaccia with oil and then sprinkle over the sea salt. Press the herbs into the dough a little and create a dimple effect. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until risen and lightly coloured. Once the bread sounds hollow, remove from tin and cool on a wire rack. Slice up and enjoy anyway you like!
Serve the focaccia dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the best light lunch. This focaccia is also great sliced and filled with prosciutto crudo (cured Italian ham), sliced tomatoes, rocket and pecorino shavings!
Disclosure: I was sent this baking hamper of products from Baking Mad. All words and photos are my own work. All views are my own.
Thanks for reading! Enjoy the recipe guys! I hope I’ve inspired you to give homemade bread a go!