Focaccia is my go-to bread when I want to bake bread reasonably quickly. Here are three more recipes to try.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.
|3.5 cups pizza, focaccia or strong bread flour (or use plain flour and add 5 Tblspn gluten)||30 g fresh yeast or 7 g dried yeast||1.5 cups lukewarm water (a little more if necessary)|
|1 tspn sugar||salt|
Mix the sugar, 0.5 cup lukewarm water and the yeast with 1 Tblspn of the flour, making a sponge, and let sit in a warm place for 15 minutes. For this, I put my oven on low, leave the door open, and sit the bowl on the open door of the oven.
Mix the flour, yeast sponge and enough of the remaining water to make a sticky dough. Leave to rise for 1 – 1.5 hours. Place on a bench (it will be sticky – flour your hands well) and divide into 2. Shape on a tray with well oiled fingertips. Brush the top with olive oil and top with your choice of topping – herbs, rosemary, garlic, salt, black pepper, olive paste, slices of olives, cheese and paprika, or any topping you like (or none).
Bake in the oven at the maximum temperature around 10 – 15 minutes, or until cooked and lightly browned.
This focaccia is quite different to the first recipe, as it has more kneading and rising. Both are great.
I have been known to make a meal based around this bread. Serve it with “nibbles” – that is, hard cheeses, roast capsicum, olives, North African Carrot Dip, relishes, pastes and pickles, raw veggies, artichoke hearts etc. Or serve it with a simple soup.
|Starter Sponge||0.25 cup unbleached bakers flour||0.25 cup tepid water|
|1.5 tspn dried yeast|
|Bread||500g bakers flour (use Australian Laucke flour if you can)||2 tspn salt|
|2 Tblspn olive oil||300 ml tepid water|
|Maldon sea salt|
|Bread flavourings (optional)||150 g pitted olives, halved||2 tspn fresh rosemary needles, chopped|
|8 – 10 semi sun dried tomato pieces, chopped|
Beforehand: Mix starter sponge and let rise 1.5 hours.
Add the sponge to the flour with suggested flavourings (replace with other herbs and flavours if desired, or leave out, although the suggested combination is great!). Add water and oil, mix by hand and knead to a very soft dough, or knead for a short time in a kitchen appliance with a dough hook or blade. Leave the dough to rise and double in size. DO NOT PUNCH THE DOUGH DOWN.
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C
Tip gently onto an oiled bench. Pat out to 2cm thickness. Cut into rounds if desired, but I leave whole. It can be shaped into a larger loaf for slicing. Place on an oiled tray and paint lightly with extra olive oil. Scatter sea salt lightly on the bread. Rest for 30 minutes.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crusty. Do not open the oven door during this time.
Cool on a rack and serve slightly warm. It may be reheated or split and toasted.
Well, I discovered another recipe which I love for its simplicity, now that I have a bread maker. Try it and see….
|1.5 cups plain flour||1 pkt yeast||0.5 tspn salt|
|0.5 cup water||0.125 cup olive oil|
Add all of the bread ingredients to the breadmaker and process it using the Pizza Dough mode. Or mix the dough by hand and knead well, for at least 10 minutes. Alternatively use the dough hook or blade on your kitchen appliance.
Preheat oven to 210C. Place the dough on the bench and knead on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a flat circle, place on a baking tray and make indents in the dough with the end of a wooden spoon. Cover and rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.
Brush the surface with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and the topping ingredients (if wished) or with oregano and basil.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.