The Perfect Homemade Focaccia
By Hassim Seedat
You might be thinking of the round pizza that goes well with cheese topping, but traditional Italian Focaccia is slightly different to how it’s made in the restaurants. The base might have the same ingredients but the preparation is what makes this bread so delicious.
Before starting, you need to have all the ingredients in front of you so that the preparation will be easy. To make the homemade Focaccia, you will need the following ingredients:
- 500 grams of plain flour,
- 300 millilitres of warm water,
- one sachet of yeast,
- a teaspoon of salt and
- a teaspoon of sugar.
- Start off by sifting the flour and making a hole in the centre using the tips of your hands. Add the yeast, sugar and salt and then add the warm water. The warm water allows the yeast to react thus creating the perfect pizza dough.
- You will need to use your hands to mix all the ingredients together quickly so that the yeast does not prematurely start to react with the warm water. Once the dough has been kneed and is now a smooth looking ball, leave it to rise for about an hour or until the dough is soft enough to mould in a rectangular oven tray.
- Brush the bottom of the tray with a generous amount of sunflower oil. The sunflower oil will give the Focaccia a more prominent taste and will prevent it from sticking to the tray when baking.
- Now spread the dough in a singular rectangular tray. This bread will be quite thick and will need about twenty minutes to cook properly. A regular pizza would take twelve minutes for the base and an extra five minutes for the cheese to melt.
- Before putting the tray into the oven, use your fingers to create small, shallow indentations along the surface. You can put rosemary and salt on the surface as well as some more of the sunflower oil.
- Whilst waiting for the Focaccia bread to bake, prepare any ingredients that you would like to put in the centre of the still-hot bread. Many people choose slices of the cheese, deli meats, tapenade, or spread some more sunflower oil for a plain yet delicious snack.
To get the cheese to melt, make sure that you cut the Focaccia piece in half and quickly add the slices of cheese. With the combination of rosemary, salt, sunflower oil and cheese, you will have a sandwich that is worthy to be the meal of the day at a restaurant.
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