Carb loaders beware, this week’s BWBO challenge has certainly pushed us to the limits. Plenty of our incredible BWBO bloggers have risen to the occasion for this stage of the competition, but this recipe from Emily Ware of Off Beat Emily really gave us some serious cravings!
Emily has created a gorgeous recipe with classic Italian flavours that pair perfectly with tomato dishes or simply dunked in balsamic vinegar.
For her efforts, she has won a set of our Mason & Cash measuring cups, perfect for recipes that need expert precision.
If you’d like to recreate our star baker’s scrumptious recipe, here’s how.
- 500g of strong white bread flour
- 10g of salt (and a pinch more to sprinkle on top)
- 140ml of olive oil
- 10g packet of instant dried yeast
- 4/5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
To make your dough:
Lightly oil your proving dish and set aside for your dough.
Sieve your flour into a large mixing bowl and add your rosemary. Put your packet yeast on top to the right and the salt to the left. Salt can often slow down the activity of your yeast, so we want to separate them initially to ensure your dough rises enough during the proving time.
Gradually add your water and oil and combine with your hands. This is where things get messy! Keep adding the water and oil until your mixture forms a sticky ball.
Grease your work surface and start to knead your mixture. Emily recommends that you resist the urge to add more flour as this could make your focaccia quite dry.
One you’ve pummelled your dough into a manageable texture, pop it in your proving dish with a wet tea towel covering the top. If you have a warm proving drawer, pop it in there for about an hour, otherwise just find a warm spot in your home. If you’ve managed to keep the salt and yeast ratio right, your dough should double in size. Don’t worry if this hasn’t happened though, your bread will just be a little denser in texture.
Whilst your bread proves, preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / Gas 7.
When you’re ready to go, line your tray with baking paper and drizzle a little olive oil and semolina if you have some to hand. If you’re lucky, you may have enough dough to make two batches, depending on how high your dough has risen. Once on the tray, you can leave to prove a little while longer if necessary.
Poke deep dimples in your dough for that authentic look, sprinkling a little extra salt and olive oil on top before baking for around 15 minutes, or until you achieve a gorgeous golden hue. Try not to add too much, as it will make a pool around the bottom of your bake and ruin the rustic crunch of your bread.
Tear and share this herby bread with friends over dips or an authentic Italian meal. A hearty accompaniment that is sure to impress your dinner guests, indulge in this homemade treat today.
Don’t forget, if you’re joining our #BWBO campaign, you can also join our post-GBBO chat over on our Twitter page!