We love preparing dough, and this soft focaccia studded with tomatoes and rosemary is fantastic as part of an antipasto plate or with a hearty Italian-style soup. In class we use the previous class’s dough, and then make the new dough for the next class.
From the garden: tomatoes, rosemary
Recipe source: dough from a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes
· Bowls – small, med, flat small
For the topping:
· Salt flakes
· A cup of cherry tomatoes
For the magic dough:
· 250g plain white flour
· 250g strong white flour
· 1½ level teaspoons fine sea salt
· 1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
· 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little extra for oiling
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
For the focaccia:
- Brush the pan with 2 teaspoons of oil. Punch down the centre of the dough with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes or until dough is elastic and has returned to its original size. Press into the prepared pan. Cover with the clean tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to prove for 20 minutes or until doubled in height.
- Meanwhile wash the rosemary & pat dry and pick the leaves from the stalks.
- Wash the tomatoes but leave any sepals on, and carefully dry on a piece of paper towel.
- Use your finger to press dimples into the dough. Brush with remaining oil and sprinkle over the rosemary and a sprinkle of salt. Gently press the tomatoes into the dough.
- Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and the focaccia sounds hollow when tapped on base. Serve warm or at room temperature, carved into thin slices.
- While the focaccia is cooking you can make the dough for the next class before cleaning up!
Now make the magic dough for the next class:
- Put the two flours into the bowl of the stand mixer with the salt and yeast. Mix well using the dough hook. Add the oil and 325ml warm water and mix to a rough dough. Knead for 5–10 minutes, until smooth. This is quite a loose and sticky dough, which is just as it should be – you get better-textured bread this way – so try not to add too much flour if you can help it, it will become less sticky as you knead.
- Trickle a little oil into a clean bowl, add the kneaded dough and turn it in the oil so that the bottom is covered with a light film. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size – at least an hour, probably closer to two.
Notes: What is process of doubling the dough in size called? What is a tomato sepal?