Focaccia

Ingredients
1 kg bread flour
120 g polenta
20 g salt
35 g fresh yeast or 17 g dried yeast
about 600 ml lukewarm water

Method
Place the flour, polenta and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the yeast in a bowl or measuring jug, add the warm water and mix to dissolve the yeast.

Carefully pour the yeasted water into the flour mixture and turn the machine on to a low speed until a dough has formed. If the mixture is too dry, add some more warm water until you have a soft dough. It’s important that the dough is not too dry otherwise your bread will be heavy and won’t rise well.

Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and knead for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball, cover with a damp tea towel and let the bread rise for about an hour until doubled in size. This is called the first proving.

Preheat the oven to 200° C. Knead the dough to and flatten out onto an oven tray greased with olive oil. Press the dough with your fingers forming little holes. Drizzle generously with olive oil. The little holes will fill with oil, which will add a beautiful flavour and texture to the bread. Top the brad with whatever flavourings you like: coarse sea salt, fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme, caramelized onions, oven-dried tomatoes. The choice is yours.

Allow the bread to rise again for a further 20-30 minutes. This is called the second proving. Place the bread into the oven for about 30-35 minutes.

The bread is done when it releases itself easily from the tray, the bread sounds ‘hollow’ when tapped and that it has a beautiful golden color. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack. Serve in slices while still warm.

If you don’t have a mixer, this can all be done by hand. Bare in mind, you’ll have to knead the dough for a good 10 minutes, but at least you won’t have to go to the gym! The dough should them be smooth and silky and not stick to your hands.

 

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours

 

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