Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Cherry Tomato Foccacia

This flatbread makes a lovely summery lunch with some feta or goats cheese, and maybe some salad alongside. Like many breads, it takes a while to make, but the level of actual labour is low. Focaccia recipes aren't a new thing to this blog, so I don't post every variation I made. But I felt this was sufficiently different and delicious to merit a blog post of its own.

For the dough:
500g strong white flour
1 sachets dried yeast
2 tsp fine salt
280ml lukewarm water
50ml extra virgin olive oil

For the topping:
250g cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced
 Leaves from 10 stalks of thyme, chopped
100ml olive oil
Coarse sea salt, to sprinkle

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine 250 grams of the flour, and all the yeast and salt. Quickly whisk together the water and the olive oil, and stir into the dry ingredients so all the flour is mixed in. Add as much extra flour as you need to make a dough that is only slightly sticky. Tip onto a floured surface, and knead for 5-10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise until it is doubled in size. This should take about 2 hours.

Once the first prove has finished, punch the dough down and give it another quick knead. Line a baking tray with some baking paper and oil. Roll or press the dough into a rough rectangle, about 1 cm thick, and dimple the surface of the dough all over with your fingers. Leave to prove for another half an hour. Meanwhile, half the tomatoes lengthways. In a bowl, combine with the olive oil, garlic and thyme. Leave aside to macerate. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.  After the final prove, spread the oily tomatoes over the surface of the bread, and sprinkle lightly with the sea salt. Place in oven and bake for around half an hour, until golden brown.

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