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Paul Hollywood's Focaccia Recipe


I have made focaccia a couple of times before using Paul Hollywood's recipe from The Great British Bake Off1. It's a lot of work doing it his way and messy too and we've speculated in the past that our bread machine might be able to help simplify things.

Focaccia half eaten
Today's focaccia, half eaten

I tried that today and it worked so here is my version of his recipe. It's in half quantity as one focaccia is more than enough for the two of us for lunch (although we ate it all anyway).

  1. In the bread making machine put 250g of strong white flour, some fast action yeast (Hollywood uses one 7g packet, I used two teaspoons of Fermipan Red which is the yeast we use for everyday bread making2), one heaped teaspoon of salt, 200ml of water and a good splash of olive oil (Hollywood's recipe calls for 15ml although in the programme he just splashes it in, as I did).

  2. Run the dough programme on the machine. On our Panasonic there's a twenty minutes wait and then it kneeds for about half an hour. By this point you should have a moist, shiny dough. Turn off the machine.

  3. Grease a glass oven dish (2litres allegedly, although for the quantity I'm doing you could get away with a smaller one) and pour the dough into it. It'll lie there as a fairly flat lump but don't worry too much about the shape now. Cover the dish with cling film. Leave for 45 minutes to rise at room temperature.

  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper greased with olive oil.

  5. Turn out dough into the baking tray. It probably won't want to come so you'll need an oiled spatula and/or a well oiled hand to help ease it out. Then oil both hands thoroughly and spread the dough over the baking tray.
  6. Use you greased fingers to "blob" the bread i.e. to make those dips in it which are a classic feature of focaccia. Drizzle with more olive oil, add whatever herbs you want to use to the top (rosemary is my favourite as we've often got that fresh in the garden).

    Focaccia drizzled with oil and herbs part way through its final rise
    drizzled with oil and herbs part way through its final rise

  7. Let it rise again for about 45 minutes.

  8. Dust with sea salt then bake for 20 mins at 200°C.

  9. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Focaccia fresh out of the oven
The final result fresh out of the oven

Note how little washing up there is: largely one glass oven dish and a baking tray, although as that's protected by the greaseproof paper it's not much effort. If you're anything like us, you never wash the bread making machine bowl so nothing to do there.

Hollywood's original recipe involves a lot of kneeding so you end up with work surfaces needing cleaning before, during, and afterwards not to mention the amount of times you have to wash your hands and the likelihood of splashing oil on your clothes.

  1. If you can find the right programme it starts at about 29:30.
  2. Available from Daily Bread if you're in the Cambridge area.

Tags: food, tv Written 23/02/13

Previous comments about this article:

On 24/02/13 at 11:44pm Paul wrote:

By the way having re-watched the original programme it's clear that Hollywood would probably regard this as a failure as it's too well risen, although he would at least applaud the irregular bubbles. Oh well. I was very generous with the yeast this time, I may try a little less next time as the last rise, in the oven, was unexpectedly enthusiastic.

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