Black olives and rosemary focaccia bread_pepperonpizza.com
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Olive Rosemary Focaccia

Freshly baked Focaccia with Black Olives and Rosemary - an aromatic and delicious bread to accompany soups and stews or to have by itself with basil oil, pesto or other spread.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time3 hrs 50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Sujata Shukla

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1.5 cups water Warm
  • 2 tsps Active dry yeast
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 3.5 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • 2 tsps salt
  • vegetable oil spray to grease the bottom of the baking sheet

For the topping:

  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt Kosher (or coarse)
  • Sprigs rosemary Fresh
  • 5 Black olives sliced into rings

Instructions

  • Proof the yeast: Stir in a little sugar in hot (not boiling) water and add the yeast. In about 5 to 10 minutes, the yeast would become active, forming a light foam on the surface of the water. The yeast is 'alive' and may now be used in the recipe.
    Proof the yeast_pepperonpizza.com
  • To make the dough in a food processor:
  • Pour warm water into the work-bowl of the processor. The temperature of the water should be about 37-40 Celsius (about 100 degrees F.)
  • Add yeast and oil and run the processor for a few seconds until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add flour and salt and run the processor for 30 secs or till the dough rolls up into a ball.
  • Scatter rosemary leaves across the dough, reserving about half the rosemary in the ingredients list, for topping the focaccia before baking. Follow the instructions below for Setting the Dough to Rise.
    Rosemary flavoured focaccia dough after rising_pepperonpizza.com
  • To mix the dough by hand:
  • In a large bowl, combine the hot water (about 100 deg F or 37-40 deg C), yeast and oil and stir them together using a wooden bowl.
  • Sieve in the flour along with the salt, and stir it into the oil water and yeast mixture.
  • Using your (clean!) hands, mix the dough and then knead on a flat clean work surface for about 5-6 minutes.
  • Scatter rosemary leaves across the dough, reserving about half the rosemary in the ingredients list, for topping the focaccia before baking.
  • Roll the dough into a ball. Follow the instructions below for Setting the Dough to Rise
  • Setting the Dough to Rise:
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled large bowl and cover it with a clean damp cloth. I use a large glass bowl for this.
  • Let the dough rise, for about 1.5 hours, until it becomes puffy and doubles in bulk.
  • Take a baking sheet with sides of at least 1" depth or else a pan of 15" x 10". Spray oil generously on the bottom and sides of the sheet/ pan or cover the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
  • Flatten the dough and press it into the pan. Cover with a clean damp cloth and let it rise until puffy, and doubles in bulk ( 1.5 - 2 hours)
  • Preheat the oven to 220 deg Celsius (425F)
  • When the dough is ready to bake, dimple the surface with your fingers at about 2" intervals. Make deep indentations as the dough will quickly spring back to the surface.
  • Lightly press olive rings in the indentations and press small sprigs of about 1" in length or individual Rosemary leaves on the surface of the dough.
  • Sprinkle 2 tbsps of oil on the surface, including into the indentations.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 -1 tsps of coarse salt on the surface and into the indentations.
  • Bake for 20 -25 minutes until the bottom of the focaccia gets richly coloured and crisp, and the top is golden brown. As oven temperatures tend to differ, check the bread 15 minutes after baking to make sure you do not overbake it.
  • Remove from the oven, and using a spatula, slip the focaccia to a wire rack to cool.
  • The bread is best served warm, with soup or pasta. Also delicious when served warm with Basil Oil or a Pesto.
  • Links to my Recipes on this Blog for Home made Basil oil and Basil pesto, are given above the Recipe.