FocacciaMy quest to learn how to make bread continues with a simple focaccia.

When I lived in Parbatipur, fresh bread (along with chocolate and cheese) was one of the things I missed more than anything. The only bread I could get was the delicious but greasy parathas and pooris from roadside restaurants, which meant that it was pretty much rice or rice the rest of the time (except when Lily made her famous noodles, that is!).

After about 6 months, I finally decided to invest in a little electric oven, specifically for the purpose of making bread – and it radically changed my life. Well, sort of. Given the limited power of my oven and the frequency of power cuts, I couldn’t make anything very fancy. But a simple focaccia was just about within the realms of possibility. This is the recipe I used to make.

Do you have a better one? I’m looking for something a little fancier now, so please do let me know if you’ve got one up your blogging sleeve!

Serves 4

Cooking time: 2.5-3 hrs

What you need

500g white bread flour

2 tsp salt

2 x 7g sachets dried easy blend yeast

2 tsps sugar

400ml warm water

2 tbsp olive oil

Olive oil

Sea salt

FocacciaCloseUpHow to make it

  1. Sift together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a jug, mix the water, sugar and yeast and leave for 5 minutes until bubbly.
  3. Now pour the yeast mixture into the flour, and use a wooden spoon to bring together. Pour in the oil, and use your hands to work together into a dough. Knead carefully for 5 minutes.
  4. Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface, and knead again for 5 minutes until silky and elastic. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and place somewhere warm to prove until doubled in size – roughly 45 minutes.
  5. While the dough is proving, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Once ready, flatten onto the baking tray, pushing out to the corners until flat.
  6. Return to that warm place to prove for another hour.
  7. While the dough is proving for the last time, preheat the oven to 220˚C. Once ready, drizzle the loaf with olive oil, sprinkle with salt then bake for 20 minutes until golden brown on top.