How good is fresh bread? Seriously. The best! But when it comes to Saturday or Sunday morning and you have a hankering for fresh bread, do you really want to schlepp it to the store to get your fix? Good thing that fresh focaccia is so easy to make at home you can (almost) do it in your sleep.
How to make focaccia while you sleep
What you’ll need:
- 4 cups of bakers flour (I make this so often now that I buy bread flour in 5kg bags)
- 2 cups of water
- 1 packet of yeast (equivalent to 1 tsp)
- 1 tsp of salt (get the good stuff)
- Olive oil (again, the good stuff)
- Extra salt for sprinkling
- Your choice of toppings — sesame seeds, herbs, chilli flakes
- In a large bowl or container (I use one of those plastic microwave rice cooker containers), combine the flour, yeast, salt and water. You may need to add a little more water because you want a slightly wet/sticky consistency. Pop the lid on and let it do its thing in the fridge overnight.
- The next morning, set your oven to 200 degrees. As it warms up, generously coat a roasting pan with olive oil. Really go to town, don’t be stingey. Pour the dough into the pan and spread it out so it reaches all the corners. Let it rise for 10-15 minutes, then with wet fingers (or the dough will stick), poke indents into the dough so it has that brain-like texture focaccia is famous for. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt on top, and jazz it up with your preferred toppings. My current favourite is sesame seeds, but I also love a dried oregano and chilli flakes combo, or just fresh thyme from my backyard.
- Let it sit for another 10 minutes or so, then pop it in the oven for around 25 minutes until the top is golden. Once it’s out of the oven, let the focaccia sit for a few minutes to absorb any oil on top (it also prevents you from burning your hands). Now just slice and enjoy!
I like to serve the warm, crispy focaccia with soft boiled eggs for breakfast. It’s also great with baked eggs for dinner and mopping up the juices from chilli and garlic prawns. The bread freezes well (just cut it into the desired portions) but it doesn’t quite taste as good as fresh out of the oven.