Focaccia

As I told you in a recent post the minute my partner had left for Ireland I started to think about foods for one. And one of the first things that popped into my mind was the lovely focaccia!

This is just bread you may think, and not really a meal. True, but I can make a sandwich with it or simply have a salad and the focaccia on the side. Or I could lean over to my bench neighbor in the canteen and soak up their lovely (hopefully) homemade sauce with my focaccia. The list is long. Very long. I decided to have the first bit with dinner (which is usually cold meats and cheese, lots of cheese. This is Switzerland after all) and the rest for lunch. Magically transformed into a sandwich.

If I like one thing then it is the texture of the focaccia. If you knead it long enough (but not too long) you’ll get these wonderful holes in the dough which make it so fluffy. I usually sprinkle the olive oil and salt on top of the bake (just before putting it into the oven) to do the rest.

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Focaccia

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Time: 1h40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

250g flour
2/3 tsp salt
10g fresh yeast, crumbled
1,6 dl lukewarm water
1,5 tbsp olive oil

Olive oil to taste
Rosemary to taste
Salt to taste

1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl.
2. Add the water and the olive oil and work into a soft, smooth dough.
3. Leave at room temperature to rise for about an hour.
4. Spread the dough gently onto a baking tray and push down until its about 2cm thick.
5. Cut some crosses with a knife into the dough.
6. Sprinkle salt, rosemary and the olive oil on top if desired.

Bake for 25 minutes at 220° in the preheated oven.

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Cherry Tomato, Rosemary and Red Onion Fougasse

I have been seeing so many wonderful posts about the French Fougasse all over the internet lately.  I have never tasted Fougasse, but it just looks so wonderful. It’s elegant leaf shape lends it an air that reminds me more of an artwork rather than a type of bread. And I have been told it’s a relative of the Italian Focaccia, which I just adore.

So it was high time I used my current spare time to make good use of it.

Oven on, let’s bake (on a different note, are you as excited about the next “British Bake Off” episode tonight as I am?)

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Even uncooked I thought it looked delicious.

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Cherry Tomato, Rosemary and Red Onion Fougasse

  • Servings: perfect for two
  • Time: 1h50mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
250g white flour
3.5g (half a sachet) east-blend yeast
1 tsp salt
0.5 tsp sugar
175ml hand-hot water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
0.5 tbsp olive oil
A few cherry tomatoes
A few rosemary sprigs

1. Mix flour, yeast, salt and sugar together.
2. Add water, oil and mix to a soft dough.
3. Knead for approx. 5-10 minutes. Until soft and non-sticky.
4. Fry the onions until slightly soft.
5. Finely chop a few leaves of rosemary sprigs and add to the onion.
6. Mix half the onion/rosemary mix into the dough.
7. Spread the dough onto the baking tray or the baking paper and shape into a leaf.
8. With a sharp knife cut through the middle and make three slashes along each side.
9. Open the slashes slightly.
10. Gently brush the dough with a bit of water.
11. Spread the remaining rosemary, onion and cherry tomatoes on top of the dough.
12. Leave to rise for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven at 220° and bake for approx. 20 minutes until golden brown.

Apart from the obvious failure (the leaves kind of grew back together so there are no holes in my fougasse) this tasted absolutely amazing. I got the recipe from the bbcgoodfood website. I haven’t altered the recipe, apart from halving the quantity and adding as many tomatoes and rosemary sprigs as I fancied. Next time I think I would add some chopped olives, black ones I think. This might just give it a last boost.

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The texture was very pleasing. I have never managed to bake a bread that turned out this okay. It was smooth and light, which I credit to the extra 5 minutes of kneading. I actually used tomatoes which were a big too big for this small Fougasse. But they are from my parents garden and I rather use something that’s sitting in my fridge than go out and buy something I don’t really need.

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So I think I will be bringing this dish to this weeks Fiesta Friday. I know, I know.. still a bit early to be talking about Friday. We still have another day of baking or eating or both ahead of us. But I was quite excited about this fougasse as I started to devour it, this afternoon and I just had to share it with you immediately.

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Oh and on our table, this was served for a late lunch with recently purchased, alp cheese, salsiz and cold meats. For those who don’t know it, salsiz is a specialty from the recently visited Graubünden. It’s a type of dry meat, almost a cousin of the salami. But smaller, air-dried and usually made with pork meat, although this one has a lot of beef in it too. Yup, me likes my meat too.