Italian Rosemary and Roasted Pepper Focaccia

Focaccia is Italian bread with a soft airy texture. This recipe is topped with fresh rosemary and sweet roasted peppers. It is traditionally finished with a mixture of olive oil, water and salt before baking to give the classic moist finish. Serve as an accompaniment to salads, soups, pasta or part of a mezze platter.

RECIPE INFO

Serves 4

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Cook's NoteAfter baking, run a round ended knife around the edge of the cocottes and stand for a couple of minutes before serving, the bread will then release easily.
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INGREDIENTS

Bread

  • 200g bread flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) fast acting dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 150ml tepid water

Topping

  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small roasted red pepper (80g), drained of any oil and cut into small pieces
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

METHOD

Brush the inside of the cocottes with olive oil.

In a bowl mix together the flour, salt, yeast and dried rosemary. Make a well in the centre and pour in the tepid water and the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Combine the ingredients together with a spatula to form a very soft dough ball.

Continue to work the dough in the bowl with a beating action using either the spatula or a well-oiled hand for 3-4 minutes, cover and rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough between the cocottes and brush the surface well with some of the extra olive oil.

Gently press the oiled dough into the dishes with your fingers, cover and rest in a warm place for approximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Using your fingertip make 4 deep dimples in the dough in each dish.

Mix together the water with the remaining extra virgin olive oil and salt for the topping and pour the mixture into the dimples.

Sprinkle over the black pepper and top with the roasted pepper pieces. Break the rosemary sprigs into smaller pieces and push randomly into the dimples. Rest for a final 15 minutes.

Whilst the dough is resting pre-heat the oven to 220°C.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden.

For an extra moist finish drizzle the baked loaves with a little more olive oil.