Lemon & Rosemary Focaccia

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!

INGREDIENTS

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

15g Yeast

100g Mixed olives (pitted)

A pinch of sea salt

Lemon infused Olive oil

Rosemary to decorate

METHOD

- 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.

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