By Rose Fooks
Serve our bread art focaccia warm and you’re in for a real treat. Experiment with your own edible artsy design and create a magnificent, unique centrepiece for a summer table. Try serving it with our red pepper houmous or instead of toast in this delicious brunch option of eggs, asparagus and crispy ham. If you have leftovers, which is unlikely! Warm them through in the oven with a slab of goats cheese and a drizzle of olive oil for a really lovely lunch. We used a selection of red onion, herbs, colourful peppers, spring onions, chilli and olives to decorate our focaccia. You could really use any vegetables that are edible raw or even add other elements such as cheese. Alternatively, if you prefer traditional focaccia just stick to the classic, rosemary sprigs and salt.
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 7g sachet fast action or 14g fresh yeast
- 3tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 2tsp sea salt
For the decoration:
- 1tsp sea salt flakes
- 2-3tbsp olive oil
A selection of seasonal veg that can be eaten raw such as:
- Red onion
- Spring onions
You will need:
- Large baking sheet, lined with baking parchment
- Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the yeast. Add 300ml lukewarm water, the olive oil and salt and then mix to form a dough. Knead the dough, either in a mixer with a dough hook or on a lightly floured surface, for 8-10 mins until smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough into an oiled bowl and smother the top with a little more oil. Cling the top and leave in a warm place to prove for 1 hr – 1 hr 30 mins until doubled in size.
- Roll or stretch the dough out to rough 35cm x 25cm rectangle, put onto the prepared baking sheet and make deep dimples with your fingers all over the dough.
- Artfully arrange the herbs and vegetables close together, to create an elaborate pattern. Press them into the dough a little and brush over olive oil. Leave in a warm place for 20 mins. Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
- Bake for 15 mins then brush or drizzle over a little more olive oil. Return to the oven for 5 mins, cook until golden.
- Drizzle over a little more olive oil if you dare, and scatter over sea salt flakes, before serving warm.
Rose Fooks, Deputy Food Editor at Future plc, creates recipes, reviews products and writes food features for a range of lifestyle and homes titles including Goodto, Style at Home and woman&home. Since joining Future, Rose has had the pleasure of interviewing cookery royalty, Mary Berry, enjoyed the challenge of creating a home-based, lockdown baking shoot for woman&home, and had her work published in a range of online and print publications, including Feel Good Food.
Rose completed a degree in Art at Goldsmiths University and settled into a career in technology before deciding to take a plunge into the restaurant industry back in 2015. The realisation that cookery combined her two passions - creativity and love of food - inspired the move. Beginning as a commis chef at The Delaunay, Rose then worked at Zedel and went on to become a key member of the team that opened Islington’s popular Bellanger restaurant.
In order to hone her patissier skills, Rose joined the Diplome de Patisserie and Culinary Management course at Le Cordon Bleu. Rose ran a food market in Islington championing local producers and cooked for a catering company that used only surplus food to supply events, before finding her way into publishing and food styling.
Other than cooking, writing and eating, Rose spends her time developing her photography skills, strolling around her neighbourhood with her small, feisty dog Mimi, and planning the renovation of a dilapidated 17th-century property in the South West of France.
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