Rosemary is really easy to grow, in that it just takes care of itself, and unlike other herbs it really is essential that fresh rosemary is used in cooking rather than the dried version, particularly with bread or potato recipes. Dried rosemary is just too woody.
The fragrant flavour of rosemary is perfectly complimented by the softness of good quality extra virgin olive oil in this Rosemary Foccacia.
This Rosemary Focaccia bread is relatively easy to make, please dont be afraid or put off by the high level of hydration, the dough is workable. You need to start the day before you want to bake the focaccia by mixing a poolish or pre-ferment. This is just flour, water and a small amount of yeast. Incorporation of a poolish into the main dough on the following day helps to make this highly hydrated dough nice and supple and easier to work with. It also helps with the oven rise and formation of those lovely air holes in the focaccia.
I recently baked a batch of this Rosemary Focaccia for a barbeque I hosted. It was a nice accompaniment to our grilled meat and veggies and appreciated by all, judging by the lack of leftovers!
Rosemary focaccia recipe
250g strong bread flour
250g warm water
1g dried yeast
all the poolish after overnight fermentation
500g strong bread flour
250g warm water
5 g dried yeast
20g sea salt
olive oil to coat
fresh chopped rosemary.
- Mix the flour, water and yeast for the poolish in a large bowl, cover with plasstic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight to ferment.
- The next day, combine all the ingredients for the main dough, knead for 10 minutes with the dough hook of an electric mixer. Then stretch and fold the dough several times by hand.
- place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 2 hours, or until at least doubled in size.
- Turn out he dough onto floured work surface and fully deflate.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal sized pieces. Flatten and stretch each dough into a longish oval shape. Place on a baking sheet and use your fingers to press dimples all over the dough.
- Leave the dough to re-rise for 45 minutes. Pre-heat your oven and baking stone (if using) to 250 degrees C.
- After the final rise, press in some more dimples, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped rosemary.
- Transfer onto your hot baking stone or tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until nice and golden.
- Serve while still warm or allow to cool, but its best eaten on the same day