Homemade Garlic & Rosemary Focaccia

Skip to content
Hayley Bisofsky Pope
Cornwall dweller, lifestyle blogger and founder of The Little Naturalists Club
18 August 2023

Focaccia; the epitome of mediterranean summer dining. It's a fantastic addition to barbecues, garden parties and can be served on a beautiful platter spread with cheeses, dips, cold cuts and dipping oils, but did you know it's equally a great vehicle for all kinds of crisp, summer vegetables? It's a versatile, delicious supplement to any dining occasion and ideally, a good focaccia will be fluffy and airy inside, with a thin, slightly crispy and salty crust. Yum.

History

Just like the French Fougasse and the Spanish Pan de Hogaza, the focaccia was a bread traditionally served to poor country peasants. The original recipe was one of rough flour, olive oil, water, a small quantity of yeast and salt, and it was cooked directly on coals. It was likely a very tough, plain bread that would have been torn apart by hand and dipped into salty soups to soften. Today, focaccia toppings are becoming more and more experimental. Usually, savoury versions are topped with rosemary, garlic, cheese, onion and cherry tomatoes, whilst sweeter varieties can be topped with honey, raisins, sugar, lemon peel and candied orange. Let’s cook!

What you'll need:

500 grams of strong bread flour 

350ml warm water

3 generous pinches of salt 

1 tbsp regular sugar 

1 teaspoon of yeast 

Olive oil, multiple glugs

Toppings of your choice, for example fresh rosemary and garlic – as much as you want!

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 240°C
  2. In a stand mixer place the salt, sugar, glug of olive oil, yeast, warm water and just a sprinkling of flour (to activate the yeast). Give it a mix with a fork and leave for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, there should be a froth on the top which shows that the yeast is alive and activated. Add the flour and the dough hook to the stand mixer.
  4. On a low speed (1) allow the machine to knead the mix until it’s stretchy and bouncy.
  5. Pour a glug of oil into another bowl and transfer the dough. Cover this with a wet tea towel to stop it from developing a skin and leave it for approximately an hour in a warm spot. This will allow the mixture to double in size.
  6. Line a tray with parchment paper and give it a seriously good few glugs of oil until the whole sheet is covered by about 2mm of oil. This will ensure that the bottom is as crispy and delicious as it should be.
  7. Transfer the dough to the tray and spread it out with your fingers, knocking back the air bubbles that have formed.
  8. Leave the dough to rise a second time, ensuring that the top has a little oil on it to keep it moist and prevent skin from forming (between 40 minutes to 1 hour).
  9. Position the toppings of your choice and add a sprinkle of salt.
  10. Place in your preheated 240°C oven for the first 15 minutes, then lower this temperature down to 200°C until cooked through.
  11. Focaccia keeps longer if you wait for it to cool before cutting, but who can resist a warm focaccia straight out of the oven? Truthfully, it will likely be gone in one sitting anyway, so just dig in and enjoy!