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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Focaccia with Sage, Rosemary and Garlic

Focaccia with Sage, Rosemary & Garlic This is only my second time baking bread and I must say that with every try, my confidence is growing. It really isn't that difficult and if the basic rules of bread baking are followed then the chances of success are reasonably good.

500 g bread flour
One 11 g packet of SAF Instant Dry Baker's Yeast, which you can buy in a box of 5
About 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
2 teaspoons salt
Some olive oil, preferably Bertolli Extra Virgin Oil
A handful of fresh sage, chop some and leave a few leaves whole
A handful of fresh rosemary, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped

  1. Grease either two shallow 8" round pans or 8" x 8" square pans with some olive oil.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and then make a well in the centre.
  3. Empty the packet of dry yeast into the well and then pour a little of the lukewarm water to activate it. With a tablespoon, stir the yeast mixture in the well. Then slowly, stir in the flour bit by bit, adding a little more water as you go along until a dough is formed.
  4. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly-floured surface and start kneading it with your hands until the consistency is smooth and elastic.
  5. Lightly oil your mixing bowl with some olive oil and then place the dough inside. Cover with cling film and then set aside in a warm place to prove for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it in. You should be able to hear the air whoosh out when you do this. Then turn it out onto a lightly-floured surface again.
  7. Gently knead in the chopped sage and some of the chopped rosemary and garlic. Then divide the dough into two portions.
  8. Roll out each portion of dough with a rolling pin so that they fit into each pan. Once that is done, pour a little olive oil over the top of the dough and spread it out evenly with your hand.
  9. Next, poke holes into the dough surface with your fingers. Make sure you poke all the way through. Then sprinkle the remainder garlic and rosemary over the top and place the sage leaves.
  10. Cover the pans with cling film and leave to prove again in warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200°C.
  12. When the dough has risen again, bake each pan for about 20 minutes or until golden. Sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the delicious aroma wafting through your kitchen.
  13. When done, remove from pan immediately and let cool on a wire rack.

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