I felt very much like making bread this week and decided this was one of the most lovely breads around so I had to make it myself. It turned out just as lovely! It just proves how you can never go wrong with flat breads or anything Italian.
Well, the first time I made it was for my grandparents who came that same day. The bread I made didn’t rise, was quite tough and very salty. Apparently salt destroys the capability of yeast to make bread rise so the problem might’ve been in the salt. That, or the fact that I put the oven on the lowest temperature to make some heat for the dough to rise, but 50 degrees Celsius could be slightly too much for dough to handle. Even through the fails I quite liked it and my grandpa said he loved the ‘spice’ of the bread. Anyway, I learned from this and two days later I made the bread again for my family. I cut the salt inside the bread and sprinkled some on stop last moment instead. Also, I added herbs for more taste and just to be cautious I added slightly more yeast than needed. It was lovely! I made two loafs and they turned out perfect! Both of them were gone that very evening. The only comment I got was that I could cut on the salt sprinkled on top, but that apparently was also one of the best parts of it. Perhaps next time I could slightly variate the two breads to fit everyone’s taste.
Here is the recipe for two focaccia loafs:
500 grams flour
2 teaspoons salt
7 grams instant yeast
325 ml water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, oregano, etc.)
Topping like sea salt and rosemary
1. Sift the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast in the middle together with the water and olive oil.
2. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and firm.
3. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with cling-film and leave it in a warm place for about 1-1,5 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Knead the dough again and add the herbs. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape them into a circle. Put the shaped dough in a greased cake or brownie tin. Cover with cling-film again and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
5. Poke holes into the dough and lightly oil the top. Sprinkle your topping over the dough. Cover with cling-film and leave the dough for another 30 minutes.
6. In the meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When the bread has doubled in size place it in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
7. When done remove the breads from their tin immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack.
If you leave the breads to cool on a flat surface or leave them covered for a bit they will become slightly softer as the bread will still loose steam, but this steam has nowhere to go when the bread is completely or partially covered. This does give a softer effect provided you don’t cover the bread for too long, otherwise it will become soaky.
Also, like I said before, go easy on the salt in the bread. I’m not sure what effect adding herbs in the first step would have. It would spread the herbs out more evenly and I don’t think it’ll have an effect on the rising process, but I’m not sure.
The last time I made this bread I used a package for white bread, with flour, salt and yeast added already. It might be handy for those of you who don’t make bread that often anyway and don’t want to buy a whole pack of flour and yeast. It works just the same as well.
There’s no more tips or notes I can think of for you so I just hope you enjoy this Italian flat bread!