I wanted a change from regular bread so when my parents came over for lunch on a Sunday, this turned out to be the perfect recipe. It’s a twist on a classic bread which I found in the GoodFood magazine of September. The recipe is by Angela Nilsen and it was absolutely delicious! Lucky me, I had enough left for lunch the next day.
First, make a batch of white dough: put 500 g strong white bread flour in a bowl with 1 and 1/2 tsp salt. In a bowl, mix 300 ml hand warm water with 7 g dried yeast until it starts to froth. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and gradually add the water, mixing in the flour as you go along. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the mix as well (if you want to make regular flour, use 1 tbsp melted butter instead). Gather the dough with your hands and put it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 8-10 min until it feels smooth and elastic, adding a minimum of extra flour if the dough gets too sticky. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface and cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl (this was a really great tip, I definitely recommend using the glass bowl). Leave for 45 min – 1 hr or until doubled in size (if you don’t have a glass bowl, just leave the dough in a bowl and cover the bowl with cling film).
Knock back the dough by gently kneading just 3-4 times. Cover with the glass bowl again and leave for another 10 min. Now shape your loaf. Cut the dough into 10 even pieces and shape each into a ball (if making a regular loaf, shape the dough into the form you want – a ball for a round bread or put it into a rectangular cake tin for a square one). Sit the balls onto 2 baking parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave for 40-45 min, or until about doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200 C and put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven (when adding the bread to the oven, add 250 ml cold water to the tin – this will create steam that ensures a crisp crust. Alternatively, put a cup of water in the bottom of your oven when you add the bread). Meanwhile, prepare your toppings: slice 100 g roasted pepers, chop 85 g camenbert and chop 10 black olives (you don’t need the stones obviously). Finish the foccaccia rolls by pressing a wide indent in the middle of each roll with your fingers. Scatter over the roasted peppers, cheese and olives pressing down quite firmly into the indents. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and add a good pinch of dried oregano (I totally forgot about the oil and oregano, and it was delicious all the same, so don’t worry if you don’t have any or you forgot it as well). As the recipe indicated, I also added some rocket leaves to the mix, but that looses it’s taste in the oven, so I suggest you add them when the rolls come out of the oven, instead of before they go in.
Bake for about 20 min and drizzle with a little extra oil when they come out of the oven (I forgot this as well). Don’t forget to add your water or cup of water when the bread goes in the oven! If making an entire loaf, allow for 35 min of baking time. You know your bread is ready when tap the underneath of the loaf: it should be firm and sound hollow. Enjoy!