Thursday, April 8, 2010
Garlic & Rosemary Focaccia
When I went to the bakery, I used to wonder how they got the little indentations in the top of the focaccia. I had visions of there being some fancy process, perhaps involving yeast, to get the indented effect. Little did I know until I made my own focaccia that you just poke the indentations in the top with your thumb!
For my recent (or not so recent now!) dinner party, I made a garlic and rosemary focaccia from a recipe by Bill Granger in the May 2007 edition of Delicious magazine. This is how I learned about the shaping of the focaccia. I found the focaccia a very quick and easy bread to make, and there are endless variations that you can make using the same basic recipe, simply by using different toppings. I also thought that the finished product looked professional, as if I had just ducked out to the shops to buy it.
To make this focaccia, you will need:
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon honey
7g sachet instant dried yeast
60ml olive oil
1 bulb garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
12 small rosemary sprigs
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Take 2 tablespoons of the flour and place in a small bowl with the honey and 300ml lukewarm water. Whisk to combine, then sprinkle the yeast over the top and whisk again. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast activates.
Add the olive oil and 2 teaspoons of salt to the flour. make a well in the centre of the mixture, and pour the yeast mixture into the well. Mix the ingredients together to form a soft dough, then knead the dough on a floured benchtop for ~ 10 minutes. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a cool, dry place to rise for ~ 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
Lightly oil a 24cm x 36cm baking tray with a rim. Knock the risen dough down into the bowl with your fist, then rest for 5 minutes.
Place the dough onto the oiled tray, and push it out as far as possible with the palm of your hand to make a rough rectangle. Cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise for a further 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, place the garlic cloves and milk into a small saucepan over medium heat. When the milk is hot, reduce the heat to low and allow the garlic to cook in the milk for 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the heat, and drain off the milk.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Poke 12 holes in the dough with your thumb, and push rosemary and garlic into each hole. Brush the top of the dough with oil, and sprinkle it with salt.
Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 12-15 minutes until the focaccia is golden brown and risen. Allow the focaccia to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
Slice and serve!