Fresh herbs and pink salt focaccia

In Italy it is still pretty common to prepare home-made focaccia or pizza. While it’s true that we often buy it or have it delivered, it’s still a pleasure to make it at home, usually during the weekends, when we have a bit more time. This way we have complete control over how we are preparing it, and it’s also a perfect dish to offer for a dinner party. I think that ‘Come on over for a pizza!’, is one of the most frequently used invitations in Italy. As a plus, it is so simple to prepare! You just need to plan it a little in advance, spend a few minutes to prepare the dough, leave it there forgetting about it for a while, and boom! It’s ready.

This specific focaccia has some herbs and chili pepper in the dough, you can of course do it without. Let’s see how to make it.

 

Ingredients for 4 servings

For the base:

  • 500 g of 00 flour, or the combination of 300 g of 00 flour and 200 g of whole-wheat flour.
  • 290 ml of warm water
  • 3 tsp of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt + a sprinkle of coarse pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 2 tsp of cane sugar
  • 7 g of active dried yeast, or 35 g mother yeast powder
  • 2 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil for the dough + extra for drizzling
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • a handful of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • a sprinkle of chili pepper, finely chopped

For the decoration:

  • 8 cherry tomatoes, in halves
  • a handful of rocket salad

 

Method

Combine the flour, the herbs, the spices, and the salt into a large bowl. In a big glass or a jar mix the oil, the warm water, the yeast and the sugar and set it aside for about 10 minutes, or until it’s bubbly. Make a well in the dry ingredients mixture, pour in the liquid mixture in the middle, and bring together until you have a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for at least 1 hour and a half.

Place some backing paper on a round baking tin of about 30 cm of diameter (use a rectangular one, if you prefer), oil the bottom of the baking paper and place the dough on top of it. Gently push the dough, using your hands, to spread from the center to the sides, until it covers the full surface. Leave the edges a big thicker. Make big dents all over the dough with your fingers, without breaking it or creating holes. Sprinkle a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil on the top, trying to fill the dents you created. Sprinkle some coarse pink Himalayan salt on top.

Heat your oven to 220° C. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown, turning it around halfway to cook it evenly. Decorate with cherry tomatoes and rocket salad, and serve.

 

Tech tips

If you have a bread machine, you can obtain a great dough. The machine is programmed to maintain the perfect temperature during the full proofing time. Just place the wet ingredients on the bottom, together with the herbs, spices, salt, and sugar. Top it with the flour and finish with the yeast. Use the ‘dough’ function. It should take around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

 

Fresh herbs and pink salt focaccia_1Fresh herbs and pink salt focaccia_2Fresh herbs and pink salt focaccia_3Fresh herbs and pink salt focaccia_4

 

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