Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread similar in style and texture to pizza; in some places, it is called “pizza bianca”. Focaccia can be served as a side dish or as sandwich bread. Wikipedia.
This morningI baked a Focaccia using one of my favourite recipes. The Sliced black olives were marinated overnight in Olive oil with dried thyme, rosemary, basil, grounded black pepper and sea salt. I utilised the cherry tomatoes and rosemary leaves growing in my garden. The herbs produced such a lovely aroma! There was not as much oven rise as I would like, but I used some whole wheat flour as well with All purpose flour. A strong bread flour would have been better I think!

The marinated sliced black olives.

The freshly plicked cherry tomatoes.

The Poolish made the night before:

  • 120 gm All Puropse flour
  • 56 gm Whole wheat flour
  • 227 gm water
  • 1/8th tsp sea salt.

For topping:

  • A dozen or more cherry tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tbs sea salt flakes
  • 2 Tbs Olive oil

Herb marinate:

  • 110 gm sliced black olives
  • 1/2 tsp grounded black pepper
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried Basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp thyme

The Dough

  • 600 gm All purpose flour
  •  316 gm water
  • 10 ml Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 11/2 tsp dried yeast
  • 2 Tbs potato flakes
  • 316 gm water ( 70% hydration)
  • All of the Poolish

The final  proofed prior to going into the oven.

Hot out of the oven after 30 minutes of baking at 190˚C.

Method:

The night before make up the biga and stand this on the counter at room temperature for 13 to 15 hours.

Next day, place the biga and all of the other ingredients for the dough, into a large mixing bowl and thoroughly mix by hand. Note: do not add the herbs yet. Let the mixture rest for 30 mins, and then do Stretch and Folds several times each time every 45 mins, for 4 or 5 rounds, till the dough is smooth.

Then add in the herb marinated black olives. Fold these in by hand.

After the fourth (or fifth) final Stretch and Fold, transfer the dough gently (let it fall out of the bowl) onto a 30 cm x 40 cm baking pan lined with parchment paper. Let the dough rest for 20 mins and then gently spread it evenly out to cover the pan, using wet fingers or the back of a spoon.  Heat up the oven to 190˚C at this time.

Towards the end of this final proofing of about 1 hour, pour the 2 tbs olive oil and brush it over the entire surface of the focaccia. Make holes into the dough using a finger or the end of a chop stick. The lightly place the sliced fresh tomatoes onto the focaccia surface, and sprinkle the chopped rosemary leaves over them. Finally, sprinkle the sea salt flakes.

Bake (with steam from spraying or boiling water from a hot metal pan) at 190˚C for 25 to 30 mins or till golden brown. When done, take out and cool on a metal rack.

“Anyone who’s a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: ‘Is it good? Does it give pleasure?”~ Anthony Bourdaine.