ingredients
  • Warm water 1 1/3 cup
  • sugar or honey 2 teaspoons
  • Active Dry Yeast 1 (0.25 ounce) packet
  • all-purpose (plain) flour 3 1/2 cups
  • Extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup , plus more for drizzling
  • Sea salt 2 teaspoons flaked
  • Rosemary 2 sprigs fresh
  • Extra flaked sea salt

This fragrant, pillowy bread is unbelievably easy to make, and doesn’t require a lot of complicated steps.

This soft bread is rich with olive oil, fresh rosemary, and sea salt, and is perfect to serve with a soup or a stew. It’s also great on its own, with just a touch of fresh, good-quality butter.

INSTRUCTIONS

Add warm water and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer.

Use the dough attachment to combine the ingredients.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water, then give the yeast a quick stir to mix it in.

Then let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast looks foamy and bubbly.

Turn the mixer onto low speed, and add gradually flour, olive oil and salt.  Increase speed to medium-low. Continue mixing the dough like this for 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add in an extra 1/4 cup flour while it is mixing. The dough should come away from the sides of the mixing bowl without sticking.

Remove dough from the mixing bowl. On a work surface or board, use your hands to shape it into a ball.  Grease the mixing bowl with olive oil or cooking spray, then place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it with a clean, damp tea towel.  Put the dough in a warm place and let it rise for 45-60 minutes, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400°F/180C fan/gas mark 6.  Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out into a large circle or rectangle. The dough should be around ½ inch thick, unless you prefer your focaccia bread thinner.

Cover the dough with a greased piece of plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise for another 20 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and transfer the dough to a large baking sheet.  Next, use your fingers to poke deep dents all over the surface of the dough. Don’t be afraid to press down all the way to the baking tray.

Drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil evenly all over the top of the dough.

Sprinkle with the fresh rosemary needles and sea salt.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through.  Remove from the oven, and drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired.

Slice, and serve warm.