Bread is life’s favourable moments. Taking those last few dribbles of sauce with a crusty yet soft, floury torn piece of bread is the perfect closure to any mealtime. This vegan Focaccia recipe is straightforward and leaves the oven crisp but soft enough to wipe a plate, tear into rough pieces or to dunk into any dip or Italian vegetable stew. No doubt for most foodies bread adds substance to your lunch but for me at least it is the pleasure dunking freshly torn pieces into a textured chickpea and sun-kissed tomato stew. This month’s bread is the simplest and tastiest of them all, softly dimpled Focaccia leaving your fingertips with Azada’s velvety smooth olive oil, made with simple flour and delicate quality, bringing a party to your dinner table.
Preparation time 2 hours
Cooking time 20 minutes
Serves 8-10 people
Gluten-free | Vegetarian | Vegan | Nut-free
- 500 grams 00 flour/strong plain flour/gluten-free Mix B – Bread-Mix flour
- 20 grams fresh yeast (3 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 380 ml warm water (+ a little extra in a separate jug)
- 60 ml Azada Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
- Half head of baked garlic
- Flaked sea salt
- A small handful of fresh rosemary leaves
- 150 grams mixed olive, pitted
- Half head of baked garlic
Baked Garlic Ingredients
- 1 head of garlic
- Azada Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Making the dough. Preheat the oven to 230-250C. Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the sea salt. In a jug, add the yeast and soft sugar to the warm water and gently whisk until dissolved.
- If you are mixing by hand, make a well in the middle of the flour and pour the water and yeast into the flour. Once the baked garlic is lightly cooled, press on the bottom of a clove to push it out of its skin and add to the flour. Mix with a fork and once it is combined, remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes. If you are mixing with a machine, turn it on and mix the flour for 1 minute, add the baked garlic (skin removed) and then pour the yeast mixture over the flour whilst the machine is running and mix using the dough hook of your mixer, until it’s well incorporated to a smooth dough for about 4 to 6 minutes. If needed, pour in a little water to form a smooth, soft dough.
- Pour a little of Azada’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a larger clean bowl and add your soft dough. Cover tightly with cling film and allow to double in size (prove), in a dry warm place for about 2 hours. The dough should be sticky and elastic when doubled, gently remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Shaping the dough. Shape the dough in the tray and push your fingers into it by touching the tray but not making a hole in the dough (like little dimples) to create the classic Focaccia look. Scatter with fresh rosemary leaves, mixed olives and baked garlic. Drizzle some of Azada’s tasty Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the toppings and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
- Baking the Focaccia. Place the tray in the oven and bake until golden brown (taking care to not over brown the rosemary) for about 20 minutes depending on the type of oven.
- Serving the Focaccia. Once golden, remove the Focaccia from the oven and if you prefer it moist, drizzle more of Azada’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the top to soak into the bread as it cools, making for a wonderfully delicious treat to serve with lunch, dinner, soups, or to have even as a snack.
- Allow to cool and eat.
Baked Garlic Preparation
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Set the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Remove the loose skin of the garlic using your fingers and leaving the head of the garlic intact with all the cloves connected.
- Trim about 5 mm off the top of the head of the garlic and place on a large sheet of foil. Lightly drizzle with Azada’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil allowing the oil to trickle down into the cloves. Wrap the garlic in the aluminium foil and roast in the oven for about 40-45 minutes.
- After about 40-45 minutes, insert the centre of the clove with a cocktail stick until it comes out without any difficulty, ensuring that it is completely soft.
- Allow the garlic to slightly cool and then serve or press the bottom of a clove to push it out of its skin.
- If you forget to sift the flour you can always allow the air to get into the flour as you dredge it through your fingers with the sea salt.
- If you prefer your garlic more caramelised in flavour, you can continue roasting until deeply golden — checking every 10 minutes. Please note that the exact roasting time will depend on the size and the variety of your garlic.
- If you’re in a rush, you could always separate the head of garlic into individual cloves to roast them quickly. Leave the cloves intact, remove any loose skin, toss with Azada’s extra virgin olive oil, seal them in aluminium foil and roast until soft.