The focaccia won against the maharashtrian style capsicum stir fry in the last poll. So here I am with its recipe.
I adapted this recipe from the one given in Children’s Cookbook by Sara Lewis. Because I don’t usually prefer using maida or all purpose flour, I replaced that with whole wheat flour. But on making the bread I realized that I probably should have used half all purpose and half whole wheat flour, so that the bread would have been lighter. The final product using only whole wheat flour was more crusty and grainy, like an oatmeal bread. And yes, I did not have any sun dried tomatoes in the house, so I skipped those. This focaccia is best had warm with soup or salad and may be a dip like a mint yoghurt or hummus.
You will need:
750 g of whole wheat flour (or a 50:50 mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour)
1 and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
9 tbsp olive oil
450 ml warm water
few stems of rosemary, fresh ( I used the dried one)
few black olives, pitted
sundried tomatoes, few pieces if available. you can also use oven dried tomatoes.
-Take a cup of the warm water (from the 450 ml) and add sugar and yeast to it, stir, cover and keep aside till frothy. This should take about 10-15 minutes depending on how sunny the day is.
– Take the flour in a bowl, add salt and three tbsp olive oil to it. Then add the yeast water and mix well. Gradually add the remainder water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Do not overwork the dough the way we would do for a chapati, mix it only till it just comes together as a soft dough.
– Cover the bowl with the dough using a cling film and put aside in a warm place for 45-60 minutes till the dough has doubled in size. Knock back the dough and knead it for 5 minutes. Now make three pieces/portions of this dough and pat each into a rough oval using your hands. I found it easier to pat the dough into shape keeping it directly on the oiled baking sheet.
– Make dents over each loaf using the end of a spoon. Press the sun dried tomatoes, olives, rosemary into these holes.
-Leave to rise for a second time in a warm place for about 20-30 minutes.
-Meanwhile preheat the oven at 200 degrees.
-Spoon 1 tbsp of olive oil over each bread. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the focaccia are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped with your fingers. Spoon the rest of the oil over the bread and serve warm.
Note: I have also used fresh garlic instead of sun dried tomatoes as I love the aroma of garlic, olive oil and hot bread!