Festive Foccacia Bites
- 500g unbleached white bread flour
- 1 level tbsp dried yeast
- 1tsp sugar or honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 300ml warm water
- Whisk together the yeast, sugar and water.
- Cover with Clingfilm and leave in a warm place until frothy, which takes about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and olive oil together, then stir in the frothy yeast mixture and mix by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook to a soft ball consistency.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. To knead use the heel of your hand or hands to gently push the dough away from you. At the same time, use your other hand to rotate the dough towards you, guiding it slowly around in a circle.
To make Focaccia:
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas6
- Oil two baking trays approximately 20 x 30cm
- Roll out the dough into two flat, thick rectangles and push them into the baking trays. Try to make the dough fill the trays.
- Make dimples with your fingers in the top of the Focaccia.
- Arrange sprigs of rosemary, thyme or sage leaves in each dimple, drizzle with a further 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden.
- To make Focaccia bites simply cut the cooled bread into evenly shaped, bite-sized squares and add a topping of your choice.
- Focaccia can be made in advance and frozen. Cook for five minutes from frozen before cutting into cubes to serve.
- Suggested toppings:
Tiny cubes of roasted squash, fresh pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley and mint with a little Aleppo Pepper or smoked paprika
Strong cheddar and chutney
Caramelised red onions, spinach, Dolcellate and walnuts
Marinated Artichokes (from the deli or in a jar), garlic and thyme
Wild mushrooms, rocket and truffle oil