When we went to Rome for our honeymoon, I remember we were ravishingly hungry and we came across a beautiful quaint panettaria where they were selling this amazing classic focaccia bread. I requested mine simply to be filled with melted cheese and tomato and what a great choice. The focaccia sandwich was soo delicious. The tomatoes in Italy are really quite something else with this moist, soft airy bread! I was in heaven!
I’ve made focaccia once before with rosemary but this time wanted to mix up the flavours a little. As you know from past posts I love chilli and wanted to give this loaf a little heat plus the aroma of coriander really carries this wonderful bread.
I’m going to love you and and leave you as I’m about to recreate my honeymoon sandwich! See you soon! Happy baking! x
500g strong bread flour
2 packets of fast action yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander
1 1/2 tsp red chilli seeds
2 cloves garlic crushed
400 ml of cold water
A little water
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, coriander and chilli seeds. Pour in the water a little at a time and with a wooden spoon or yours hands bring the dough together. It is a wet sticky dough so don’t be alarmed and do not add any extra flour.
2. Knead for 5 minutes and then add a little olive oil to your hands to avoid sticking. Work the dough by stretching the edges of it to the centre, repeat for 5 minutes. Oil the base of the bowl and knead for a further 5 minutes.
3. Cover and leave to prove until the dough doubles it’s own size. Can take up to half an hour
4. Line a shallow baking tray with grease proof paper, tip the risen dough out and stretch gently onto the sheet, pushing into the corners (about 2.5cm in thickness). Top the dough with some extra coriander, dip your index finger in some water and indent the dough with holes in rows along the dough
5. Leave to prove the loaf for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 220ºc/425ºf/gas mark 7. Once proved drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle a little sea salt. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with some butter!
Adapted and inspired by Paul Hollywood’s focaccia