May 2, 2012

Foccacia with tomatoes & olives

               Foccacia is an Italian dimpled flatbread (cousin of pizza) which can be topped with herbs and other ingredients. Its simple to make and makes a great alternative for garlic bread.. 


    
          It can be just served with olive oil. It could also be used to make sandwich or used a side dish. You could add any toppings you want. I added sweet cherry tomatoes with oil cured black olives and also added few jalapenos with spice.. 

 You can use this basic recipe to make lots of different varieties of focaccia: leave it plain and just sprinkle with coarse sea salt, add  caramelized onions, cumin. Use your imagination! 


Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 10 pitted oil cured black olives
  • 10 jalapenos slices
  • 10 basil leaves
  • coarse sea salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil 


    Method:
  • Place the flour, dried oregano, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl. Combine the warm water and oil and mix with dry ingredients to form a soft dough, adding more water if dough appears too dry.
    I have used instant yeast, so it can directly be mixed with the flour. If you are using active dry yeast, it needs to be dissolved in warm water with sugar and wait for 10 min till it froths..
  • Knead the dough for about 10 min till its smooth, kneading also aids in gluten formation which is essential for nice bread. Place this dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with damp wet kitchen towel.
  • Let dough stand for about 1 hour till it doubles in size.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead again briefly.
  • Shape the dough into a rectangle and place it on your oiled baking tray, turning the dough over to oil both the sides. I used cookie sheet for getting a rectangular foccacia. You can also divide the dough in half and make 2 round foccacias.

  • Make some rough indentations on the dough to avoid air bubbles forming. In these indentations, place cherry tomatoes, black olives, jalapenos. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 220 C/ 425 F.
  • Let the dough stand in a warm place for 10 mins for the dough to rise again
  • Bake for 20-25 min until golden brown and cooked through..
  • Drizzle some olive oil and top with fresh basil and serve warm.....


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