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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.
- Olive oil for greasing the casseroles, mixing, brushing the dough and drizzling.
- 200g (7oz) strong flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon (5g) fast acting dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 150ml (5floz) tepid water
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ -½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 small roasted red pepper (80g/3oz), drained of any oil and cut into small pieces
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Brush the inside of the casseroles 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 casseroles 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: 220°C/ 425°F/Gas Mark 7 Fan: 200°C
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden.
- For an extra moist finish drizzle the baked loaves with a little more olive oil.
- Ready roasted peppers in olive oil are available in jars or at the deli counter.
- After baking, run a round ended knife around the edge of the casseroles and stand for a couple of minutes before serving, the bread will then release easily.