FocacciaSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
John Whaite's focaccia recipe is served with a garlic and herb infused oil – delicious!
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g fine sea salt
- 2 x 7g sachets fast-action yeast
- 150ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing and brushing
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- small handful of flat-leaf parsley
Make and bake the focaccia the day before. Wrap in foil and store in an airtight container. Warm through before serving, drizzled with the infused oil. The cooled baked loaf can also be frozen.
Toss together the flour with the salt and the yeast. Add 400ml water (tap water is fine) and 50ml of the olive oil, bring together into a very sticky dough, then knead using a freestanding mixer and dough hook on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until it is very elastic and smooth.
Once the dough is sufficiently kneaded, leave to rest, loosely covered with lightly oiled clingfilm, until it has ballooned up and tripled in volume – 1-2 hours at room temperature is about right.
Meanwhile, slice the garlic cloves finely and then into thin matchsticks. Place them in a small pan with the remaining 100ml olive oil and warm on a lowish heat for 1-2 minutes (without letting the garlic colour), then remove from the heat and leave to cool and infuse. Chop the parsley leaves roughly and the stalks finely, and add to the oil with 1⁄2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
When the dough has risen, oil a baking sheet well and gently tip the dough onto it, being careful not to deflate it too much. Using lightly floured hands, gently tug the dough into a very rough rectangle (about 20cm x 30cm) and leave it to rise again, loosely covered with oiled clingfilm, until almost doubled in size (about an hour).
Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Dip your first and middle fingers into flour and prod holes all over the surface of the focaccia, ensuring you press your fingers right down to the baking sheet below. Brush the dough with olive oil, then bake it for 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven, brush the loaf with oil again and leave it to cool on the baking sheet.
To serve, warm in a low oven, cut into thin slices and drizzle with the infused oil.
Recipe adapted from Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Whaite.