This recipe is brilliant for those that want to make bread but don’t want to be kneading for what feels like an age. The only catch, it takes a liiiiittle longer to make/prove. Either up to 3 ½ hours or even an overnight prove, perfect for those that want it by lunchtime!
Focaccia is a type of Italian bread that is known for its soft and chewy texture, topped with olive oil and sea salt. By letting the dough rest for several hours, the yeast has time to develop a rich, savoury flavour, and the texture of the focaccia becomes soft and chewy. The slow prove also allows the dough to rise and become airy, giving it that signature fluffy texture.
There are many different focaccias, flat ones, big fluffy ones, chewier ones.. this one is FAB for a charcuterie or cheese board, a little big for a sandwich though. But you can get away with an open sandwich!
It can also be topped with so many delicious things, from fresh rosemary, olives, caramelised onions, thinly sliced potatoes, cherry tomatoes, grapes! Oh the list goes on!!!!
So, the timings for this can be adapted, but here is an example of a schedule, it can be tweaked to suit your day though.
3 ½ Hours
10am-11.15am - Mix the dough and then do the fold and stretching four times
11.15 – 1pm - Dough is transferred into a pre prepared tray or pan
1pm – Gently make the holes, top and bake!
Option 2 – Overnight and bake in the morning
6pm -Mix the dough and fold once.
6.15pm - Transfer the dough to the fridge overnight
9 am following day - Dough is transferred into a pre prepared tray and left to rise outside of the fridge.
11:30 am – Gently make the holes, top and bake!
THE STRETCH AND FOLD
This method is when you stretch fold the sides of the dough over itself to create the layers much like you would when kneading. This dough is pretty sticky, but as you fold more and more it will get smoother and even stretchier as you work that gluten, and by the end the dough will be smoother and stronger. You will want to use a little oil on your hands to begin with to avoid really sticking to the dough.
All you need is a mixing bowl, your hands, a baking tray, an oven, and a little patience!