Bread has to be one of the most delicious and simple things we can eat, yet it has become something to consider a guilty pleasure with all the low-carb diets around. At RC HQ we don’t subscribe to diets that eliminate whole food groups or blame them for our wobbly bits - we believe in ‘everything in moderation’ or as the French would say, mangez bien - eat well, their version of 'live well'. Here here!
So this month we're sharing a favourite focaccia recipe to help inspire you to bake at home during Real Bread Week at the end of the month. This focaccia is delicious to eat and simple to bake - don't be put off by the proving time - it's what real bread needs and will make the house smell wonderful!
And of course always use the best quality ingredients you can - particularly the olive oil in focaccia as it is so intrinsic to the flavour. We like Filippo Berio Extra Virgin olive oil.
To make 2 focaccia
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 sachets dried easy bake yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 400m cold water
- 150g pancetta - lardons or block to dice
- 2 springs of rosemary
- extra oil for drizzling
- sea salt and freshly milled black pepper for seasoning on top
Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 3/4 of the water into a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a dough then knead the dough with your hands, gathering it all in from around the bowl.
Knead for five minutes, gradually adding the remaining water to the bowl.
Stretch and knead the dough for a further 5 minutes in the bowl.
Tip the dough onto an oiled surface and knead for five more minutes (total 15 minutes). Return to the bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm corner until doubled in size.
Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment. Divide the dough into two portions.
Stretch and flatten each portion onto a baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to prove for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7
Dimple the bread evenly with your fingertips and add a few rosemary tips to each dimple. Push the pancetta into the the dough so that when it rises further they are rooted in the bread and don't fall off when cut.
Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with the sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Serve warm with even more olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Delicious! We hope you enjoy this recipe, please let us know how you get on. Real Bread Week starts on Saturday the 24th of February this year - time to practice and host a bake off!
For more information on the Real Bread Campaign, from community baking to starting your own micro bakery, go to www.sustainweb.org/realbread.
Shop for Pancetta lardons here - 150g is perfect for this recipe!