Salt & Rosemary Focaccia Bread

When you're frustrated but are not signed up to a kickboxing class, or punching your pillow gets tiring... bake bread. And don't use a bread maker, make it the old fashioned way. I find that the act of making bread, of kneading and punching the dough to be one of the most exhausting and, at the same time, relaxing activities I can do in the kitchen.

So I made rosemary focaccia bread. The best thing about this particular form of venting my frustrations is that I get to enjoy the hard earned spoils after I've gotten it all out! Some of you may have heard my "emotions get transferred into flavour" superstition, so I don't usually like baking when angry or upset, but I make an exception for bread.

I got this recipe from Joel, you may remember him from previous posts (ricotta ravioli, shaksuka, etc.). He's a brilliant cook, loves experimenting with new recipes and is a great friend to boot. He made this to go with our shaksuka a while back, so when I had a craving for shaksuka last weekend, I definitely needed to recreate it. If you find yourself waking up early on a weekend and want to make an awesome brunch for your family (or even to have yourself), try this out.

Salt and Rosemary Focaccia
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • A handful of fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt flakes
  1. Combine the active dry yeast and warm water in a small bowl and leave it for 10 minutes. Do not stir, allow the yeast to activate and froth until the very end
  2. In a food processor, pulse the flours and salt, then add the activated yeast and 2 tbsp of olive oil and continue to pulse until a ball forms
  3. Remove the dough and leave it to rise in a bowl coated in oil. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise for 2 hours
  4. Drizzle olive oil on a 13" x 9" baking sheet, punch down the dough, place dough on the baking sheet and cover again with the tea towel to allow it to rest for 30 minutes (min) 
  5. Preheat the oven to 230°C
  6. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of roughly chopped rosemary over the surface of the dough, then using your index finger (that finger better be clean and washed) push little belly buttons into the dough to cover the surface. Drizzle with olive oil, allow it to pool in some of the belly buttons (sorry, that's just what Joel calls them lol), and sprinkle the sea salt flakes over
  7. Bake at 190°C for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow it to cool a little before slicing it up and serving with Shaksuka. Perfect!

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