“This focaccia is not fussy. It’s the kind of thing you can get excited about making on a Saturday afternoon and have great fun playing with the toppings. I often throw the ingredients in a food processor, whiz it up then leave it overnight. This bread, along with some lovely salad and cold leftover chicken, would also make a great dinner. ”
- 400 g strong white bread flour , plus extra for dusting
- 100 g fine ground semolina flour or strong white bread flour
- 1 sachet dried yeast
- ½ tablespoon golden caster sugar
- 300 ml lukewarm water
- olive oil
- extra virgin olive oil , to finish
- Basil and cherry tomato topping
- 1 bunch of fresh basil , (30g)
- 1 large handful of ripe cherry tomatoes
- white wine vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Three-cheese and rosemary topping
- 30 g Taleggio cheese
- 1 small log goat’s cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- Balsamic onion topping
- 2 red onions
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- balsamic vinegar
- Place the flours and ½ tablespoon of sea salt into a large bowl, and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast and sugar to the lukewarm water, and mix with a fork. Leave this for a few minutes and, when it starts to foam, slowly pour it into the well, mixing with a fork as you go.
- As soon as all the ingredients come together, which may take a minute or so, knead vigorously for around 5 minutes until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
- Lightly oil a large bowl with some olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Dust with a little extra flour, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7 and prepare the toppings.
- For the balsamic onion topping, finely slice the onions and pick the thyme leaves. Fry the onions and thyme in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, reduce for a minute or two, then leave to cool.
- For the basil and cherry tomato topping, pick and roughly chop the basil leaves and halve the tomatoes. Pop the basil and tomatoes into a bowl and season with sea salt and black pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a tiny splash of white wine vinegar. Peel and slice the garlic and mix into the bowl.
- To cook the focaccia, as soon as the dough has risen, pound it, then place on a baking tray and spread it out to cover the tray. Push down roughly on top of the dough like a piano to make lots of rough dips and wells.
- Divide the onion and the tomato toppings over two thirds of the focaccia.
- For the three-cheese and rosemary topping, break up the Taleggio and the goat’s cheese over the remaining third of the focaccia. Grate a handful of Parmesan cheese and pick the rosemary leaves. Sprinkle both over the final third and season with pepper. Finish with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Leave to prove for a further 20 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes, until golden on top and soft in the middle.
Source: Jamie Oliver