Posted by: NoCtrlZ | 2011/03/11

Thyme Focaccia


As you are using olive oil as well as water in the mixture for a focaccia, you will want to use a very high-quality olive oil because you will taste it all the way through the bread. Focaccia is very rich, so it is best to cut into small slices and serve with as an antipasto.

Ingredients:

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) Strong White Bread Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action Dried Yeast
  • 80m/(3fl oz) Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 250ml (9fl oz)  Tepid Water
  • 1 bunch fresh Thyme
  • pinch of Sea Salt

Method:

  1. Dust a large flat baking tray with flour.
  2. Put the flour into a large bowl, add the salt and yeast, then add the olive oil plus all of the 250ml water (this will make a light dough). Do not add any more flour as this will make the dough too heavy.
  3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes by hand (or 5 minutes by machine). The dough will feel stretchy when pulled. To test if it is ready, make a ball with the dough then, using a well-floured finger, prod a shallow indent in the side. If the indent disappears by way of the dough springing back then it is ready to shape. If the indent stays, knead for a few minutes longer.
  4. Shape the dough into an oval and place it on the prepared baking tray. Flatten it out to about 30cm (12in) long and 20cm (8in) wide. Cover the dough loosely with oiled clingfilm, making sure it is airtight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  6. Leave the dough in a warm place for about an hour, or until it has almost doubled in size. With a floured index finger press holes in the dough at regular intervals, about 4cm (1½in) apart in rows across the dough, pressing right down to the bottom. Cut 3cm (1¼in) sprigs of the thyme and push them into the holes. Sprinkle some sea salt over the dough and place in the top third of the oven, adding a tray of water at the bottom of the oven just before closing the door.
  7. Bake for about 25–30 minutes, or until the bread is well risen, pale golden-brown and feels hollow when tapped underneath.
  8. Remove from the oven, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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