Focaccia

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FOCACCIA or FOH-KAH-CHAH= feminine noun referring to a type of flat and square shape bread. Crusty outside, soft inside and extremely tasty!

If you love bread and pizza, you will have to try this amazing recipe.

#BringNonnaBack

Ingredients

500g strong white flour

300ml warm water

7g dry yeast

salt,1 pinch

olive oil,1 tbsp

For the topping :

3 medium ripen tomatoes, sliced

1 tbsp oregano

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

3/4 tbsp olive oil

salt, 1 pinch

Preparation

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Gently mix with a fork. Pour half of the water into another mixing bowl and add the yeast. Thoroughly dissolve the yeast in the water until the water turns into a brownish colour. Pour some of the “brownish” water into the flour and with a fork or your fingers mix it all in. Continue to add water a little at a time ( you will have to add the other half of the water), combining well until you have picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. Add the olive oil. Once it is all combined, knead until you have a silky, smooth, elastic dough. Kneading: Push the dough out in one direction with the heel of your hand, then fold it back on itself. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and repeat. Kneading in this way stretches the gluten and makes the dough elastic. Do this for about 4 or 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands – if it does get too sticky you can add a little flour to your hands. Now your dough needs to rest. Place it into a large bowl (you can use the same one you used for the flour), cover the bowl with a damp tea towel, this will avoid the dough once is proven to stick to the tea towel. Set it aside to prove (somewhere warm), this should take 1 hour and the dough should double in size. Now your dough is ready! Cut it in two halves or leave it whole depending on the size of your focaccia.

Roll the dough and flatten it onto a baking tray pushing to the corners. Use your fingers to make deep dimples in the focaccia, pushing them all the way through the dough to the bottom. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Place the tomatoes into the dimples, sprinkle the oregano, salt, garlic and drizzle  with the olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes….Pronto!  Serve hot or warm.

You can have lots of different toppings: red onion and rosemary, cheese and garlic, balsamic vinegar and white onion, olives and sun dried tomatoes…..Buonissimo!!!!!!

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