This recipe is based on the great Paul Hollywood’s recipe, it’s a simple and effective base recipe which allows you to add whatever flavours you wish.
500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Flour
2tsp of salt
2 sachets of dried yeast (works out to 3 tbsp or 14g)
2tbsp of Olive Oil
350 ml of cold water
handful of rosemary (whatever your personal preference is) plus more for topping
Sea Salt to finish.
1)In a large bowl place the flour, salt, yeast and sprigs of rosemary, roughly mix together. In a measuring jug, measure your water and add the olive oil to the top of this. Using a wooden spoon, mix the water gradually into the flour mixture to form a dough.
2) Place the dough on a oiled surface and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is elastic. The bbcgoodfood website has a really useful guide to kneading techniques. Bread Kneading with Paul Hollywood
3) Once kneaded, tuck into a rough ball shape and place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
4) Once the dough has doubled in size, place on a floured surface and knead for a further 5 minutes to remove the excess air from the dough.
5) Oil a baking sheet and place the dough on it, stretching the dough with your hands to make it fit to the size of the baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour.
6) After this hour, the dough should be springy to touch.
7) Preheat your oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
8) Using your fingers, push small holes through out the dough, then place whatever herb you wish to use into the gaps, I used rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
9) Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve warm.
I also made a sun-dried tomato and basil focaccia, with the same basic bread mixture. To provide the bread with a little more colour, replace the oil in the bread mixture with oil the sun-dried tomatoes are stored in.