Focaccia for me holds a very special place in my heart, not only is it one of my favourite breads of all time, but it is also the first bake I ever gave to girl I met at college one wet October morning, never imagining she would later become my incredible girlfriend! It was also the bake my older sister requested/demanded be present at the last supper we had as a family before she flew across the world for her gap year travels. So you get the point - it's a very good bit of bread!
For the Lemon infused olive oil
200ml Olive oil
The peel of 1 or 2 Large Lemons
For the Focaccia
520g Stong white bread flour
3tsp Fine salt
1/2tsp Caster sugar
3tbsp Rosemary (finely chopped)
300ml Lukewarm water
3tbsp Lemon infused olive oil
100g Mixed olives (pitted)
A pinch of sea salt
Lemon infused Olive oil
Rosemary to decorate
- Infuse the olive oil by placing the oil and lemon peel together in a pan and heat gently for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the oil from the heat and allow to cool down completely before removing the lemon peel and pouring into a container and leaving for 2 days to allow the flavours to develop (if you are in a rush, purchase pre-infused olive oil from a retailer).
- In a freestanding electric mixer (with dough hook attachment) place flour, salt, rosemary and 3tbsp of the lemon infused olive oil.
- In a separate jug place the yeast and lukewarm water together, leave for a minute before adding into the flour mixture.
- Knead for approximatly 10 minutes on a medium/ high speed before placing in a lightly greased bowl and allowing to rise for an hour.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two.
- Roll each piece of dough into a large oval shape before using your index fingers to make dimples across the surface of the dough.
- Allow to rest for a further 25 minutes while you preheat your oven to 200 degrees (fan) before covering the dough with rosemary and olives and brushing with olive oil.
- Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes before brushing each loaf with olive oil and spinkling with sea salt.
- Serve on the same day for the best results.