Will and I were driving home from the city on the weekend and I was happily singing along ‘so don’t act like it’s a bad thing to fall in love…’ to Justin Timberlake’s latest song when I had a thought. I turned to Will and said ‘how do they keep coming up with new songs?’ We both agreed that it’s pretty amazing there is still new material to be created.
Really I have evidence of this every day. As I was thinking of a interesting way to start this post I started singing to myself ‘think of a story about bread, bread, bread, a story about bread bread bread.’ Yep that’s my life these days. Everything is a song but for the life of me I can’t think of a song that mentions bread. So there you go songwriters, new material, thank me later.
This particular bread is definitely song-worthy. It’s based on Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial‘s filled focaccia. Celia used an assortment of goodies she found in her fridge to fill the focaccia and so I did the same, using a jar of caramelised onion and a few chopped up feta-stuffed olives.
I have to say, this is one of the easiest breads I’ve ever made. You throw everything in the bowl, smoosh it together, rest for a little bit, give it a knead in the bowl for 1 minute, yes ONE minute, rest for an hour, flatten out, rest for 20 minutes, poke at it, bake it and eat it.
There’s only about 10 minutes hands-on time and that’s if you’re really slow about measuring. Even if you have no baking skills at all, if you can weigh ingredients, turn on an oven and put baking paper on a tray I promise you you can make an awesome focaccia and to me there aren’t many things more satisfying than making your own bread.
This loaf went to mother’s group last week and we ate it sliced with a little bit of butter. It was so good I made it again on the weekend with a bit of feta and then sliced it horizontally to make sandwiches. Now whenever I’m asked to bring bread somewhere this is what I will bring. I’m thinking sundried tomato and pesto would be a good combination to try next. Enjoy.
- 500g (31/3 cups) bakers flour
- 10g (or 1 sachet) dried yeast
- 7g (1 teaspoon) fine sea salt
- 320g (11/3 cups) water
- 50ml (10 teaspoons) extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup caramelised onion
- 5 feta-stuffed olives, finely chopped (use whatever olives you like)
- Extra oil and sea salt for coating
- Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to squelch it all together until there are no dry bits.
- Cover the bowl and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
- Take the cover off and knead it in the bowl for about a minute or until the dough is smooth. Do this by grabbing the dough at the top (furthest away from you) and pulling it away from you then folding it over the top of the dough. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and keep repeating the process.
- Cover again and leave until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
- Pre-heat the oven to 250C (500F) fan-forced and line a tray with baking paper.
- Scrape the dough out onto the tray and roughly flatten it out to about 3cm (1.4") thick.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave until it starts to puff (about 20 mins).
- Brush the top of the bread with oil and then use your fingers to poke holes in it all the way down to the tray.
- Sprinkle the top with a little bit of sea salt.
- Turn the oven down to 220C (430F) and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.