When that first rosemary plant finally withered after two years, I quickly got another pot and it is now blooming beautifully. I have used the rosemary to bake salmon, chicken and bread and the herb gives the dish a distinctive flavour. I also love the way it leaves a refreshing fragrance on your hands after you handle it.
Here is a great rosemary focaccia recipe by celebrity chef and baker Paul Hollywood from The Great British Bakeoff - a competition where homebakers battle it out to be crowned the Great British Bake Off’s Best Amateur Baker. I am really happy with the way the focaccia turned out. It is filled with pockets of air which are the trademark of a successful focaccia.
The recipe is simple with few ingredients and very easy to make. The only thing is that it will give your arms a great workout with all the kneading. You can also knead the dough in your mixer or breadmachine.
Rosemary Focaccia (20 x 30 cm)
- 250 g white bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 7 g dried instant yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200ml cold water
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, cut into pieces
- olive oil, for drizzling
- fine sea salt, for sprinkling
- left over rosemary, for sprinkling
- Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 150ml of the water into a large bowl. Gently stir with your hand or a wooden spoon to form a dough then knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes, gradually adding the remaining 50ml of water.
- Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the centre, turn the bowl 80 degrees and repeat the process for about five minutes.
- Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for five more minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.
- Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Flatten the dough onto a baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to prove for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C. Drizzle the loaves with oil, sprinkle with fine sea salt then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil and fresh rosemary and serve or warm.
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