This recipe is from Shipton Mill's "Discover Italian Baking" Day.
Note: The method used in the class uses added yeast to speed the fermentation process for the purposes of teaching. A traditional Focaccia recipe uses only biga for fermentation which gives a better flavour to the bread, hence the fermentation process will be slower when you do the recipe at home unless you choose to add yeast. The timings given in the recipe below are for a traditional, biga-only recipe. If you choose to add yeast at home, reduce the proving times to the timings shown in brackets.
This recipe uses the same dough recipe as for the Ciabatta Bread but has only two rises as opposed to three for the Ciabatta.
You will need:
1510g Ciabatta Flour
50g Olive oil
Toppings to Taste (We used):
Sea Salt, Rosemary, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil.
Method (by hand):
1. Heat your oven to 250ºC.
2. Weigh your water into a mixing bowl.
3. Add the biga and mix until smooth.
4. Add the flour and olive oil and mix in the bowl with a dough scraper. The dough will be very wet and sticky.
5. Once all the ingredients are combined, add the salt.
6. Leave to rest for about an hour at ambient room temperature until doubled in size (45min if using yeast).
7. Fold the dough to knock it back.
8. Leave to rest for another hour (40min if using yeast).
9. Repeat the knocking back process.
10. Generously oil your baking tray or line with silicone paper (baking parchment). The dough will spread as it proves so ensure it has space at the edge of the tray to do so and make sure you oil the sides of the tray to stop it sticking to the edges.
11. Cut into your desired focaccia shape and gently place onto a baking tray.
12. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with cling film and prove for 45min.
13. Once proved add your chosen topping.
14. Use your fingers to create the classic dimples in the bread.
15. Place into the oven for 25-30min.
16. Remove from the oven, brush with olive oil and allow to cool.
Resting times for all recipes are a guide. Proving time will always be affected by ambient room temperatures so use your judgement and increase or decrease the time depending on the conditions on the day you bake.
Baking times for all recipes are a guide. Oven temperatures will vary and not all oven thermostats are reliable. Check on your loaves towards the end of baking to ensure they are not becoming over-baked.