This Olive Rosemary Sundried Tomato Focaccia is a quick bread, ideal for a lunchtime treat. This is quicker than a lot of breads as it only has one proving, however if you have the time for a quick prove before knocking-back and adding the inclusions it would do no harm and give you a lighter loaf.
To Make My Olive Rosemary Sundried Tomato Focaccia You Will Need
- 2Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2Tbsp Olive Oil With 3 Rosemary Sprigs
- 1Tsp Fast Action Yeast
- 250g Strong Plain Flour
- 1Tsp Salt
- 150ml Warm Water
- 50g Large Olives Sliced
- 50g Sundried Tomatoes Sliced
- 1Tsp Flakes Salt Garnish
Put the Rosemary Sprigs into one of the measures of oil and squish them around a bit. Put them aside for the flavours to mix ‘n mingle.
Put the Flour, Yeast and Salt into a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the olive oil (the lot without the Rosemary) along with about a third of the water. Mix this around with your fingers. Now my grandfather gave me a good piece of advice when making bread. He said “when mixing dough only use one hand – keep the other one clean so that you can pick your nose!” Now my grandfather was a very wise man, otherwise how could he have produced my wise father? You, as I do, may choose to only follow the first part of this advice and use one hand. What you do with the other hand is your problem but don’t expect me to eat what is produced without asking lots of questions. I digress – sorry.
Add the second third of the water, mix until combined and then add the rest. If you add all the water in one go you can get into a lot of mess and need to work the dough for a long time.
When all the ingredients are fairly well mixed (don’t worry if it feels a little wet – wetter is better) turn your mix out onto a worktop. Start to knead; I do a squishing motion from both sides, pushing the dough away from me with the heel of my hand. I do not work on a floured surface as this adds unasked for flour into the dough. Knead for about 5 mins. Turn the edges of the dough under itself to form a ball and if the surface of the ball has cellulite then you need to knead some more. It should have a silky, stretchy feel when it is ready.
Knead in the chopped Sundried Tomatoes, but don’t bash the tomato too much.
Lightly grease a baking tray, do not use baking parchment, you want contact with the metal to give a good crisp base. Before adding the dough to the tray lay one of the Rosemary sprigs on the tray. Then place the dough onto the baking tray and gently squish out the dough to 2-3cm depth. Gently push the chopped olives into the surface of the dough. Loosely cover the tray with Clingfilm, I have take the added precaution of oiling the underside of my Clingfilm.
Leave the dough to rise for about 60-90 mins until it has almost doubled in size.
Put the oven on at 200fan/220C/400F/Gas 6.
Carefully lift the Clingfilm off the proved dough. Take care not to rip the surface off if it has stuck to the dough as it could collapse. Gently encourage the bits of tomato and olive back under the surface of the bread.
Sprinkle the flaked sea salt over the surface and bake for 20-30 mins. Mine only took 22mins so do check after 20.
The finished bread should be nice and golden, the knock test (to see if it sounds hollow) does not really work on bred this thin. If it feels light for its size then it is cooked.
Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool. If you want a crispy crust then leave it uncovered to cool. If you want a softer crust then cover with a clean tea towel to keep some of the steam inside.
I served my loaf for lunch with some prosciutto, the remainder of the olives and sundried tomatoes and some slices of holy cheese. (It’s not religious cheese it has holes. It did not hang around on the plate for very long, Mumm said Erik and returned to work – high praise indeed!