First things first-you need to prepare the dough 24 hours in advance as it rests in the fridge overnight. I honestly think anyone can make focaccia-even someone unfamiliar with bread baking so please give this a go. Everything Bagel seasoning is a mix of white and black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, dried onion and garlic. It is available to buy online or stock up (as I do) if you go to the USA.
I use a mix of strong bread flour and 00 flour but you can use just strong flour if you can’t find 00 flour-although most supermarkets sell it. Focaccia makes the best picnic sandwiches, split horizontally and filled with your favourite things-here I have stuffed it with cream cheese, smoked salmon and rocket (in keeping with the bagel theme).
- 325g strong bread flour
- 225g 00 flour
- 2 heaped teaspoons easy bake yeast
- 3 tablespoons Everything Bagel Seasoning (see intro)
- 1 ¾ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus about 4-5 tablespoons for the tin
- 430g water
- Put the flours in a large mixing bowl and add the yeast in one third, the bagel seasoning in another third and the salt in the last third (salt can kill off yeast which is why it is best to avoid them mixing before you add the water).
- Pour in the water and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together then lift and fold the dough a few times with your hand to stretch the dough a little. Lightly oil a mixing bowl and scrape the dough into it. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Oil a 20 x 30cm tin with about 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil. Remove the dough from the fridge and with a lightly oiled hand stretch and fold the dough onto itself about 6-8 times. Tip the dough into the oiled tin and leave at room temperature, uncovered for about 2.30-3 hours or until the dough has at least doubled in size and is looking bubbly and puffy. After 2 ½ hours heat the oven to fan 190°c, mark 6. Oil both palms and fingers and make dimples over the dough with your fingers. Leave the dough for a further 5 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the focaccia is golden brown. Tip onto a wire rack and leave to cool.