This is one of the most delicious and satisfying breads. And it is one of the reasons I love being part of the foodie community where we share our recipes with others, hoping they will encourage at least one person to try something new. I was inspired by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to start this blog in the first place and it was her focaccia recipe that did it.
It’s an easy non-demanding bread that takes no time to pull together and has the advantage of making the most of any deli leftovers that might be lurking in your fridge. This particular one made the most of some prosciutto and Tête de Moine we had the surplus of. Plus bits of mature cheddar and bresaola. And quince jelly too.
And a little goes a long way here. The bread is deliciously moist and keeps well for a couple of days. It is very versatile and can be served in many ways. We have had it with soups, as work and school lunchtime sandwiches, even sneaky slice or two for breakfast. C’mon, it’s not always pancakes, cereals or pastries here – I grew up on fish-paste sandwiches for breakfast and am a firm believer that solid carb and protein loaded start to the day is as good as any. It’s all about moderation in my books.
But our favourite way of serving it, is as part of tapas selection with few olives, fresh buffalo mozzarella, juicy sweet tomatoes with basil, warm frittata and salty jamon or prosciutto. It makes for an easy family dinner.
With two teenage children in the house, this is also perfect as a quick after school snack. And a tray this size does not last as long as anticipated! Feel free to experiment with your deli leftovers. It is equally delicious with some chorizo added in or cheese or olives, the combinations seem endless. Here is the recipe.
- 500 grams of bread flour
- 10 grams of dried yeast
- 7 grams of sea salt (but bear in mind saltiness of any cured meat you will be adding)
- 320 grams of water
- 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil plus extra
- 200 grams of mixed deli selection
Line a shallow baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast before adding water and oil. Add your meats, cheeses and vegetable and give it a quick knead so that you end up with a shaggy looking dough. Cover it and leave it to rest for 30 minutes or so.
Now place the dough into the prepared tray and gently stretch it so that it is even and covering the surface. Cover again and let it rest for about 30 minutes or so. The dough should become even softer and puffed up a little. In the meantime, preheat the oven to maximum.
Now for the fun bit – drizzle the surface with oil and using your fingers push holes into the dough, right down to the tray. You can scatter the surface with more sea-salt but may wish to omit this depending on your filling.
Put the tray in the hot oven and lower the temperature to 220°C. Bake the focaccia for 25 minutes, rotating the tray as necessary. Leave it to rest but if you are like me, I cannot leave it for too long before cutting off a sneaky corner whilst still warm. I know, I am weak! Enjoy x