There are few things you need to keep in mind while making foccacia.
First, it needs lots of olive oil for best tasting foccacia. And try to use extra virgin olive oil as it has all the goodness intact and make the foccacia very flavourful.
Second, you need lots of seasoning that’s salt and black pepper. So don’t hesitate to put salt on top of the bread.
Usually, it’s square in shape but feel free to make any shape. Don’t worry if it’s little tedha medha. It gives more rustic appearance if the shape isn’t uniform.
This is my adapted recipe. Usually you need any bread dough recipe to make base and then you proceed to make foccacia with the same dough that you have used for making loaf. So this basic dough that I am sharing, can be used for multi purpose. You can make bread loaf, bread rolls, focaccia, stuffed buns, breaded bread and even pizza (with a little change in the recipe for pizza). So this is my go to recipe for everything almost.
This quantity can make 1 big focaccia or 2 medium ones. If you want you can put half dough in the fridge and use it later for making bread rolls or any other thing. It keeps well for 2 days in the fridge.
How to make Wholewheat Foccacia with garlic, rosemary and cherry tomatoes
- For dough :
- 500 grams wholewheat flour or aata
- 5 tablespoons milk powder
- 10 gram salt (lil less than 2 teaspoons)
- 20 ml olive oil or 1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoons
- 7 grams instant active yeast
- Large pinch of sugar - I use unrefined cane sugar
- 150 ml milk + 150 ml water (both warm)
- Some more water as needed
- To make Foccacia :
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bunches of rosemary, needles only
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt but you can use normal salt
- 2-3 big garlic cloves, chopped roughly
- 10-12 Cherry tomatoes , halved
- You can actually use anything for topping --- onions, pepper, any other herb, cheese, herb oils or anything that you fancy.
- Take flour and milk powder in a big bowl. Add salt at one corner and yeast at the other. NEVER ever put salt and yeast together as salt can kill yeast.
- Now stir the flour with a fork and make a well in the centre.
- Add warm milk and water mix with olive oil as stated under dough ingredients. Make sure your milk and water mix is WARM. Nether hot nor cold. Yeast needs warm environment to get active. It will be under active if your milk and water is cold and it will die if the mix is hot. Yeast can't survive at high temperature.
- Now mix everything together to get a sticky dough. You may have to add more warm water to knead the dough roughly about 50-75 ml. Please check the temp before adding more water. If you take care of the temperature of the liquid added to make the dough you will not face any problem further. This is the first step were you can go wrong while making bread so please take care of this.
- Also, I have used instant yeast so no need to proof it beforehand. If you are using dry active yeast then please prove it in milk or water first before adding to the flour.
- Now knead the dough for 15-20 minutes. Yes, it takes time but will help in getting a nice crumb of the Foccacia or your bread.
- Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave it to prove for about an hour or until the dough has doubled.
- Knock back the dough and knead a little. Now divide the dough in two. If you want you can use the whole dough at once to make a big Foccacia. I usually prefer to make two medium sized ones.
- Place the dough on an oiled and floured baking sheet. Flatten the dough with your fingers. You can also roll the dough a little and then use your fingers to spread the dough. It's up to you.
- Now make indents using your fingers.
- Add chopped garlic, rosemary, salt, crushed pepper and cherry tomatoes halves on top of the stretched dough. I skipped pepper because of kids but I do add in mine.
- Generously drizzle with the olive oil. Remember GENEROUSLY!!! This will make your Foccacia so delicious.
- Now let this rest for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat your oven at 200 degrees C. Keep a baking tray on lower rack while preheating. Preheat for 20-30 minutes. Yes we need hot oven to make this.
- Bake the focaccia after it has rested for 30 min.
- When you slide your tray in the oven , add half glass of water in the hot tray at the lower rack. Be careful not to burn your hand.
- This will create steam inside the oven and will help in getting a nice soft Foccacia.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until evenly golden brown.
- Once out the oven, brush some more olive oil on top. Leave to come to room temperature.