In the early days of Melbourne's Covid lock down, April 2020, Darren added freshly baked roasted garlic and rosemary focaccia to the B&P menu. We were all feeling very uncertain about the road ahead and the addition of this home style focaccia, along with his fruit crumbles and outstanding chicken pie were a welcome and calming distraction for the whole team.
Our kitchen is always filled with an intoxicating mix of aromas but the smell of freshly baked bread triggers an undeniable feeling of well being and certainty and we welcomed it everyday.
Not wanting the recipe to be forgotten, I've badgered Darren in to sharing it with you. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we all did. It's easy to make, freezes well, and any stale leftovers we used in salads, I'll share one of my favourites with you later this week.
Garlic & Rosemary Focaccia
Makes : 1 loaf 20cm X 30cm tray
Serves: 6 – 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus proving)
Bake/Cooking Time: 15 minutes
500g Strong bakers flour, sieved
250ml Water, tepid (27°C)
15g Commercial yeast
80ml Olive oil
As needed Roasted garlic oil
As needed Rosemary sprigs
As needed Salt flakes
As needed Cracked black peppercorns
- Place half the flour, yeast, water and olive oil into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and attach the dough hook. Turn the machine on to a low speed and mix to a paste. If making by hand then mix the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula until a lump free paste has formed.
- Add the remaining flour and mix for a further 7 minutes on speed 2.
- Add the salt and continue to mix for a further 3 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the machine, the dough which should now be smooth and shiny, needs to prove so place a damp tea towel over the surface of the bowl and place the bowl in a warm place to prove. The dough should almost double in size and, depending on the temperature of your room, this could take between 20 – 50 minutes.
- Take a 20cm X 30m nonstick baking tray with a 2cm lip and lightly brush garlic oil or olive oil onto the interior surface.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knock it back onto a very lightly floured work surface. Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten and shape the dough to the rough size of the baking tray.
- Place the dough into the tray cavity and liberally brush the surface of the dough with the garlic oil.
- Use your fingertips to make indents into the dough all over the surface and again brush with garlic oil.
- Sprinkle rosemary sprigs and liberally sprinkle the surface of the bread with salt flakes. Add the black pepper as well.
- Place the tray somewhere warm and prove the dough until it has doubled in height. This may take anywhere from 20 – 50 minutes depending on your room temperature.
- Place the loaf into an oven preheated to 180°C and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before gently lifting the loaf out of the tray onto a cooling rack. Again, brush with garlic oil, cool for a further 5 minutes before serving.