Afelia’s Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

I love bread, I mean who doesn’t? Eeeeeveryone loves bread, even people who don’t eat it because they’ve cut carbs out of their diet, they know it and we know it too! I don’t discriminate when it comes to bread; white, brown, wholemeal, seeded, thin sliced, thick sliced, I eat it ALL! I also enjoy baking the occasional loaf when I can get myself in gear. Nothing, and I mean nothing, comes close to the taste and smell of a home baked bread, Afelia’s Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia is one of my favourites.

Focaccia is an Italian flat bread made with olive oil and yeast, it is often flavoured with herbs, garlic, caramelised onions, tomatoes or cheese. It’s soft, fluffy and delicious and makes a perfect side dish to a main meal or can be served with dips to snack on. I enjoy making my Tzatziki sauce to enjoy with this bread, they pair up quite nicely whenever I make them as side dishes for a main meal.

I may not have been baking focaccia for very long but one thing IS certain, I love baking and eating this delicious soft and fluffy bread. Baking it doesn’t require a great deal of skill but it does require some patience; the dough needs to be proved twice in order to produce the fluffiness that is characteristic of this bread, so remember, good things take time!

I love flavouring my focaccia with rosemary and garlic because I always have those ingredients to hand. I also love using cheese in the dough whenever I have some leftover cheddar which is slightly past it’s best and needs using up. The strong cheese (‘pongy’ is more accurate a description, but ‘strong’ makes it sound less offensive, so we’ll run with that!) gives the loaf a good cheesy flavour, try it the next time you have cheese leftover that can’t be used in a sandwich (remove any mould from hard cheese first).

You can always opt for other ingredients to add interest and flavour, how about caramelised onions or cherry tomatoes? If you wanted to you could turn this into a more substantial meal and use this as a pizza base and add marinara sauce and toppings such as mozarella, salami, sliced peppers, mushrooms etc..on top to create your own focaccia pizza. But if you don’t have to add anything, this bread is delicious plain and simple.

Using olive oil is important, it makes a huge difference to the finished texture and tastes so much better. Where possible I would also recommend using the right type of flour to make bread; using a bread flour means a higher gluten content, this higher gluten content creates a stretchy dough, which allows yeast-leavened breads to rise to their fullest, leaving them light and fluffy. However, I have on a number of occasions used all purpose flour and the bread has turned out well too, so use whatever you have to hand.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe and can adapt it easily to suit your own taste. So without any further ado, let’s start making and baking! Oh and don’t forget to rate and review the recipe.

Serves 4 – 6

You will need: for Afelia’s Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

1 tsp of sugar
1/2 cup of warm water
1.25 tsp fast action yeast
450g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup of olive oil
1.5 cups of warm milk
extra flour (if needed)
extra olive oil (as needed for brushing and serving)
3 cloves of garlic
2 – 3 sprigs of rosemary
rock salt

Method:

Afelia's Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

In a small bowl add 1 tsp of sugar and half a cup of warm water. (NOTE. You need to use actual measuring cups for my recipes, not a random cup, these are available from most good houseware stores).

Add 1.25 tsp of fast action dried yeast and stir to dissolve the sugar. Leave to one side for 5 – 10 minutes till frothy.

In a large mixing bowl measure 450g of strong white bread flour, add 1 tsp of salt, 1/4 cup of olive oil….

….1.5 cups of warm milk (I measured this using cups and then warmed directly in a bowl in the microwave).

Check the yeast has become frothy and then add this to the bowl too.

Mix all the ingredients in a stand mixer at a low speed for several minutes using a dough hook, or alternatively use a wooden spoon to mix.

The dough mixture will be quite wet and soft (top left photo), if you find it doesn’t come away from the bowl, add 1 – 2 tbsp of extra flour to assist (top right photo).

The dough should still be quite wet but form a roundish ball (bottom left photo), this will help to create a softer focaccia.

Once the dough comes together in the shape of a round ball, pour some olive oil onto your hands and coat the dough ball thoroughly….

….ensure the dough is thoroughly coated and leave covered somewhere warm to prove for one hour or until the dough has doubled in size (bottom left and right photos).

I find placing my metal bowl on top of my Sky box (the box is always slightly warm) helps speed up this process.

Prepare a flat wide tray or dish to bake the focaccia on, I am using this terracotta pizza baking stone. Grease the dish or line the dish with greaseproof paper.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour and tip the dough onto the counter, knead for a few minutes by hand to knock out all the air and then place the dough on the prepped baking tray.

Afelia's Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

Using your hands, stretch the dough evenly until the tray/dish is covered and you have pushed the dough to the edges. Sprinkle with extra flour if you need it to make handling easier.

Using the knuckle on your index finger, make indentations in the dough at evenly spaced intervals.

Afelia's Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

Take some olive oil and pour over the top of the bread, use a brush to spread out, ensure the entire loaf is covered.

Peel 3 cloves of garlic.

Afelia's Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

Thinly slice the garlic and scatter over the dough.

Remove the tough stems from the rosemary sprigs, scatter the rosemary leaves over the dough.

Afelia's Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

Lastly sprinkle the top of the dough with some rock salt, this adds flavour and also looks pretty.

Leave the dough to prove again for 40 – 50 minutes until it has risen again (this is important to make the focaccia fluffy).

Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 7 (220 degrees Celsius) for 20 – 25 mins or until the focaccia is golden brown.

Afelia's Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

Remove from the oven and brush with more olive oil, this helps to make the crust softer. Serve the focaccia immediately, hot out of the oven and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Afelia's Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 1.25 tsp fast action yeast
  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 1.5 cups of warm milk
  • extra flour (if needed)
  • extra olive oil (as needed for brushing and serving)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 - 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • rock salt
Method
  1. In a small bowl add 1 tsp of sugar and half a cup of warm water. (NOTE. You need to use actual measuring cups for my recipes, not a random cup, these are available from most good houseware stores).
  2. Add 1.25 tsp of fast action dried yeast and stir to dissolve the sugar. Leave to one side for 5 - 10 minutes till frothy.
  3. In a large mixing bowl measure 450g of strong white bread flour, add 1 tsp of salt, ¼ cup of olive oil....
  4. cups of warm milk (I measured this using cups and then warmed directly in a bowl in the microwave).
  5. Check the yeast has become frothy and then add this to the bowl too.
  6. Mix all the ingredients in a stand mixer at a low speed for several minutes using a dough hook, or alternatively use a wooden spoon to mix.
  7. The dough mixture will be quite wet and soft (top left photo), if you find it doesn't come away from the bowl, add 1 - 2 tbsp of extra flour to assist (top right photo).
  8. The dough should still be quite wet but form a roundish ball (bottom left photo), this will help to create a softer focaccia.
  9. Once the dough comes together in the shape of a round ball, pour some olive oil onto your hands and coat the dough ball thoroughly....
  10. ensure the dough is thoroughly coated and leave covered somewhere warm to prove for one hour or until the dough has doubled in size (bottom left and right photos).
  11. I find placing my metal bowl on top of my Sky box (the box is always slightly warm) helps speed up this process.
  12. Prepare a flat wide tray or dish to bake the focaccia on, I am using this terracotta pizza baking stone. Grease the dish or line the dish with greaseproof paper.
  13. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and tip the dough onto the counter, knead for a few minutes by hand to knock out all the air and then place the dough on the prepped baking tray.
  14. Using your hands, stretch the dough evenly until the tray/dish is covered and you have pushed the dough to the edges. Sprinkle with extra flour if you need it to make handling easier.
  15. Using the knuckle on your index finger, make indentations in the dough at evenly spaced intervals.
  16. Take some olive oil and pour over the top of the bread, use a brush to spread out, ensure the entire loaf is covered.
  17. Peel 3 cloves of garlic.
  18. Thinly slice the garlic and scatter over the dough.
  19. Remove the tough stems from the rosemary sprigs, scatter the rosemary leaves over the dough.
  20. Lastly sprinkle the top of the dough with some rock salt, this adds flavour and also looks pretty.
  21. Leave the dough to prove again for 40 - 50 minutes until it has risen again (this is important to make the focaccia fluffy).
  22. Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 7 (220 degrees Celsius) for 20 - 25 mins or until the focaccia is golden brown.
  23. Remove from the oven and brush with more olive oil, this helps to make the crust softer. Serve the focaccia immediately, hot out of the oven and enjoy!

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Comments 1

  1. Sadia zaineb
    Reply

    I made the paneer dish it was delicious thank you so much

    10 September, 2017

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