Italy: Rosemary and Parmesan Focaccia

Make your own Italian bread.

Ingredients:

200g bread flour

200g plain flour

1 dspt salt

1 tbsp caster sugar

7g quick yeast

300ml warm water

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 tbsp chopped rosemary

2tbs grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

1. In a large bowl stir together the two flours and salt. Make a well in the centre and sprinkle in the sugar and yeast. Carefully pour the water into the well. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to act.

2. Pour 2 tbsp of the oil into the well and with a wooden spoon stir the mixture into the centre of the bowl. Widen the circles making sure all of the flour is in the mixture.

3. On a floured surface take the ball of dough and knead well with hands until smooth.

4. Pour 1/2 tsp of oil into a clean bowl and place the dough in the centre and lightly oil the top.  Cover with clingfilm or a tea towel and put in a warm place. Leave for 30-45 minutes (the dough should double in size).

5. Sprinkle half of the rosemary onto the dough and mould in with your hands. Use 1 tsp of oil to coat a baking tray and place the dough in the middle. Gently press the dough out so it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Pour the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of oil over the top of the dough. Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to dimple over the top. Sprinkle the rest of the rosemary across the dough. Place in a cold oven on the middle centre shelf with a pan of hot water beneath. Leave to rise for 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.

7. Bake the focaccia for 20-25 minutes, or until brown on top. Once cooled remove from the tray and place on a wire rack.

Best served warm. Recommended for soups or dipping into oil.

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