Focaccia was the third technical challenge of the second series of The Great British Bake Off. This a great challenge to test the baker’s bread skills as focaccia contains a lot of water, which is different, compared to most bread recipes. It is important to use all of the water in the recipe no matter how sticky the dough gets, as this is what gives the focaccia its signature irregular crumb structure (see the picture at the bottom of the page).
500g Strong White Flour
400ml Cold Water
2 tsp Salt
2 x Sachets of Dry Fast Action Yeast
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Extra Olive Oil for drizzling
Pinch of Sea Salt Flakes
1. In a large mixing bowl place the strong white flour, salt, fast dried yeast and olive oil. Mix all of the ingredients until they are all incorporated.
2. Next add 300ml of the cold water and mix, for this recipe I recommend using a stand mixer as this dough becomes very sticky. Once the ingredients start to form into a ball add the rest of the water and keep on mixing.
3. The dough will need to be kneaded for 5-10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and shiny.
4. Next oil a work surface and knead the dough into a ball shape. Place the dough into an oiled rectangle tupperware and leave the dough to prove for 1 hour.
5. While the dough is proving line a 13 x 9 inch baking tray with parchment paper.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size carefully tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and carefully shape the dough into a rectangle. Next carefully lift to the dough and place it onto the baking tray.
7. Flatten the dough so it fills the baking tray and leave the dough to prove for 1 hour.
8. Pre heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7. After an hour using your fingertips press down on the dough to create dimples.
9. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough and sprinkle some sea salt.
10. Bake the Focaccia for 20 minutes and then serve.