Focaccia with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives
2 cups (250 g) bread flour and ± another 2 cups
1½ cups (375 ml) lukewarm water
2 t (10 ml) sugar
1 t (5 ml) instant yeast (don’t use more)
2 t (10 ml) cider vinegar
1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Rosemary & Olive Seasoning
½ cup (100 g) pipped black olives
8 pieces Ina Paarman’s Sun-dried Tomatoes, cut into strips
Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle. Pour the water into the well and sprinkle over the sugar, yeast and 1 t (5 ml) of flour.
Leave for 10 – 15 minutes to allow the yeast to soften. Add 2 T (30 ml) olive oil and the measured vinegar.
Mixing by machine
Start the mixer on slow speed. Draw in the rest of the flour to make a softish, sticky dough. Add Rosemary & Olive Seasoning. Keep adding extra flour as needed to get a pliable dough.
Knead in mixer for 10 – 12 minutes.
If Mixing by hand
Add extra flour and Seasoning to the mixing bowl while working the dough by hand and then turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth, light and elastic.
Put dough back into the oiled mixing bowl and oil the top of the dough.
Cover with a cloth and leave until doubled in size, or best, leave in the fridge overnight to rise slowly.
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
Preheat the oven to 200°C and place a baking stone or large 400 cm x 400 cm terracotta tile in the oven to preheat.
DO NOT KNEAD AGAIN.
Deflate the dough by pressing it down with the palm of your hand.
On baking paper pat dough out into a free form shape about 1 cm thick. Leave to rise again at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Press down into the dough with your finger tips to indent the surface, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little more Seasoning.
Top with olives.
Bake until bread is puffed and crisp on top, about 20 – 25 minutes.
Brush with more olive oil and add Sun-dried Tomatoes and rosemary needles. Serve warm, sliced into generous helpings.
The basic dough is also excellent for potbrood and pizza bases.