Sometimes there’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread. Just think of the memories you have from visits to your local bakers. It can however be a time consuming process to make bread, and as we highlighted in our 10 minute mid-week soup, time is something that is not always on our side when it comes to cooking. We’ve recently come across a great recipe and put our own twist on it, to make a quick and easy yeast free bread that you can make anytime. This bread is perfect for soup and stews or as a great accompaniment to a starter of humus or dipping oils.
Focaccia bread is a flat oven-baked Italian bread that can be cooked with differing toppings to sometimes resemble a pizza. It can often be cooked with various herbs, meats and sauces, but we used cheese and garlic to create our very own focaccia garlic bread. This was a tasty alternative to our normal serving and bread and we will certainly be experimenting with it in the future using other ingredients.
- 235 ml water
- 250g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 15 ml olive oil / garlic oil
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- handful of grated cheese – parmesan or mature cheddar for the topping
1. Prepare the dough:
Pre-heat your oven to 220C and line a baking tray with grease proof paper. If you are using an electric mixer to make your dough, attach a dough hook and combine your flour (sifted), baking powder and salt with the water. Mix well until a dough ball forms.
If you would like to make the focaccia dough by hand, stir the same ingredients into a bowl and turn the dough out onto a floured surface when mixed well. The dough will be sticky but persevere and knead it until the dough becomes elastic and can be shaped into a ball.
2. Shape the focaccia dough mix:
Turn the dough onto the lined baking tray and using oiled fingers, spread the dough out into an oval shape to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Ensure to coat the sides and top of the focaccia dough with oil. Lightly season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Bake your focaccia bread:
Transfer the oiled dough to the centre shelf of your pre heated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the bread from the oven and carefully spread the crushed garlic over the top of the bread. Be careful, as the bread will be hot. Sprinkle the cheese on top and return the bread to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and has a golden, crisp finish. This should take 5 – 8 minutes.
4. Serve and enjoy:
Remove the focaccia bread from the oven and serve warm. You can drizzle the focaccia with a little olive oil as a final touch, but this is optional. You can make this bread in advance and reheat in an oven or microwave for a few minutes, before serving. If you are looking to re-use the focaccia, store in an airtight container and consume within 3 days.
Alternative toppings for your focaccia:
- Basil pesto and sun-dried tomato
- Rosemary, garlic and sea salt
- Parma ham, olives and fresh rocket
- Serve with an Italian style soup
- Serve with humus or dipping oils
- Olives and cured meats
What is your favourite type of bread? Let us know by commenting below or connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget to check out some of our recipe videos on the Pikalily Instagram account. We are also currently working on a YouTube channel that will be with you shortly. Until next time, happy munching guys 🙂