There a few things more delightful than the smell of freshly baked bread. This focaccia is dead simple and the herbs add that little something extra to the finished product. And don’t forget the butter – good bread like this deserves it.
- 500 grams plain flour
- 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
- 300ml warm water
- 8 grams dried fast-acting yeast
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
- garlic olive oil for drizzling
- flaky sea salt
- stand mixer with dough hook attached
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Put the warm water in a bowl and add the yeast and caster sugar. Leave it to activate for 5-7 minutes.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Mix on a low speed for 2 minutes until all the ingredients are combined, then increase the speed by one setting and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Tip onto a floured board, knead into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- When the dough has risen, gently knock it back (use the heels of your hands to fold the dough back on itself to remove any large air bubbles) and then knead gently once or twice.
- Place on a 20 x 30cm oiled baking tray. Using your knuckles, stretch the dough gently to the edges of the tray. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t stretch all the way, you don’t want to tear the dough.)
- Cover with a damp tea towel and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour so it can prove (rise).
- Preheat your oven to 200°C fan bake.
- Once the bread has risen, gently poke rows of indentations into the dough with your finger.
- Place the fresh herbs in a small bowl, drizzle with the garlic olive oil and toss to coat. Distribute evenly over the top of the bread. Sprinkle the bread with flaky sea salt, and one final drizzle of the garlic olive oil.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with lashings of butter.