450g strong bread flour (T1050)
50g semolina, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
21g fresh yeast
290ml lukewarm water
a pinch of sugar
1 tbsp olive oil + extra to brush
salt and pepper
Optional the toppings:
red onion slices
Makes 1 big loaf
Put the flour, semolina and salt into a bowl of a freestanding mixer and mix.
Crumble the yeast into a jug and add 50ml of water, stir to dissolve. Add the remaining water, sugar and olive oil and stir.
Add the liquid ingredients to the flour and knead with a freestanding mixer for about 5 minutes to get a bouncy, non-sticky dough.* You might need to add a bit of flour if the dough feels too sticky.
Take the dough out of the bowl and form a ball. Lightly brush the inside of the bowl with a bit of olive oil before putting the dough back in. Cover with a clean teatowel and put in a warm place and leave to double in size, which takes about 1 hour.
After 1 hour, sprinkle some semolina onto a baking tray**. Tip the dough onto the baking tray, not kneading it, but stretching it into a rectangle of approximately 30x20cm.
Brush the surface generously with olive oil and decorate with your chosen pattern of vegetables. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put a baking dish with water at the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
After 15 minutes, the dough might have risen a bit again, so you might need to push back the vegetables of your pattern into the dough to hold
Bake the focaccia in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown (the bottom should sound hollow).
Transfer onto a wire rack, brush with a bit more olive oil and leave to cool before slicing.
* if you’re kneading the dough by hand, you need to knead for 10 minutes.
**no need to line the tray with baking paper, the focaccia will come out without it.