Think you don’t have time to make tasty homemade bread for lunch this weekend? Think again. This hands-off focaccia requires minimal effort but produces great results for a lunchtime showstopper.
500g strong white bread flour
50ml olive oil
½ teaspoon (3g) dried active yeast
2 teaspoons (10g) salt
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
Handful of basil leaves, shredded
The evening before you want to bake
1. Mix together the flour, yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl, avoiding direct contact between the salt and yeast. Pour in the water and olive oil and mix together until no dry flour remains. The mixture should be very wet and slack. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
The day you want to bake
2. Get the bowl out the fridge at least 3 hours before you want to bake. Oil a roasting dish, roughly 25cm by 35cm, and line the base with baking paper.
3. Tip all the dough into the roasting dish. Oil your hands and gently lift, pull and spread the dough out across the base of the dish. Cover the dish (oil the top of the dough if using clingfilm to prevent sticking) and leave the dough to rise for at least three hours.
4. Your dough should rise up the tin, with lots of bubbles on the surface. When it nears the top of the dish, it’s time to bake. Preheat the oven to 230C.
5. Top your dough with the halved cherry tomatoes and shredded basil leaves. Sprinkle over the salt to taste and drizzle with olive oil. Now press all the toppings into the dough with your fingers.
6. Bake your bread for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack. Slice up and enjoy! This bread is best enjoyed warm on the day but will freeze well.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, do let me know in the comments! Or why not try another – plenty of breadmaking recipes, hints and tips on my blog.
You can also join my supportive community of home bread bakers over on Facebook. From sharing great bakes and recipes to asking and answering key breadmaking questions, there’s plenty to learn and join in with.