With its wonderful fruity extra virgin olive oil as flavouring, Liguria is famous for soft, fluffy focaccia with a crisp top. This basic recipe can be finished with tomatoes, herbs, olives, capers or whatever you like. At Balla we serve our breads with Frantoio Franci extra Virgin Olive Oil from Montenero d'Orcia in Tuscany. At Manfredi at Bells we dip in to Selezione Frantoio Cutrera , a gorgeous green blend of Sicilian olives. Both oils are available from our good friend Marco Balestrini at Lario.
- 540ml water
- 28g fresh yeast
- 900g flour- Italian bread or pizza “00” is good or any strong bread flour
- 18g salt
- 120ml extra virgin olive oil
- 20ml extra virgin olive oil (for brushing on once cooked)
Warm half the water to body temperature- tepid but not hot- and dissolve yeast completely using a fork. Place in a mixer bowl and add flour and salt. Turn mixer on low using dough attachment and gradually add remaining water, then olive oil. Once dough has come together, increase speed a little and keep mixing for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly oiled workbench. Keep folding and kneading for another 5 minutes. Return dough to bowl, cover and let prove till doubled in size. Line 2 baking or jellyroll trays (32 x 44 x 2.5 cm) with baking or greaseproof paper. Divide dough into two and stretch to fit in each tray. Let prove for 45-60 minutes. Dimple surface of each focaccia with fingertips, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake in a preheated 210C oven for 15-20 minutes till golden.
Makes enough focaccia for 10-15 people