My dad always says to me,
'When are you going to make Fortucchi again?'
Then I respond by saying, 'For the last time, it's called Foccacia!!!' This recipe inspired my passion for bread making, because the whole process is relaxing and the end result is so delicious and glorious. This is a type of recipe that you will do over and over again because it's so addictive and yummy! My brothers always ask me to create a new flavour combination everytime that I make it. At one point, I was making one fresh everyday!!The recipe I created is different from other recipe, due to the fact that I have increased the amount of water and decreased the amount of flour. This creates a sticky dough, which feels weird but once cooked it is airy, and it floats away on your palate.
The trick with bread making is practice, practice, practice! I know it's a cliché but it's true. From my own personal experience of making bread, once you know what a 'perfect dough' feels like, then you can play around with the flavours and the quantities.
1.Measure on a weighing scale 450g of strong white bread and sieve into a deep bowl. Add 2tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1tbsp of oregano(this can be changed to fresh herbs like basil or rosemary, make sure you finely chop them.)2tsp of salt, 2 sachets of yeast and 300ml of lukewarm water.
2. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Then measure out 100ml of water and slowly add to the dough a little at a time, until you have used all the water. Then mix for 5 mins. Make sure you add all the water this help create a variety of air hole or bread bubbles to make it really light.
3. The texture of the dough at this point is really sticky and weird for a bread dough. Now, remove your wooden spoon and use your hands to stretch the dough for 5 mins.
5. Now, place some olive oil on your clean work top and place your dough on the table. Oil your hands and knead for 5 mins. Kneading is done by using the palm of your hand and pushing the dough away from you and then you fold it over and repeat the process. (at this point you can add olives(130g), sun dried tomatoes(100g), cheese(100g))
6. Once kneaded place back into your bowl with a tea towel covering it and allow to prove for 20mins or doubled in size.
7. When the bread is proving, prepare your toppings: in this recipe I have used garlic and Parmesan cheese. Finely dice the garlic and grate your cheese over the garlic and mix together. Leave to one side.
8. Get a large baking tray and place 3-4tbsp of olive oil at the bottom of the tray. Place your dough and stretch it until it touches all the corners of the tray. Then allow it to prove for 1 hour in a warm place.
9.Preheat the oven to 220°C.After 1 hour slowly peel off your tea towel from the bread and delicately scatter your toppings on top of the dough. Then drizzle generously with olive oil.
10. Bake at 220°C for 20mins.
11. Once the bread is cooked allow to rest for 10-15 mins. Trust me it's worth the wait. Serve with antipasti or eat on its own. Enjoy!!!