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Focaccia Genovese

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On every street in the north of Italy you will be able to find a bakery that is slinging yeasted focaccia, smothered in oil and salt. They are a joy to eat, light and tasty and ideal in the mid-afternoon at the start of aperitivo.

It is important to use the best extra virgin olive oil you can afford. If you fancy a flavoured focaccia, olives or finely sliced white onion is often sprinkled over the dough just before the second resting time.

Ingredients

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  • 190ml of water, lukewarm
  • 20ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 7g of salt
  • 1 tsp malt extract, or sugar
  • 310g of strong bread flour
  • 6g of dried yeast, or 12g fresh yeast
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flaky sea salt
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
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Method

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1
Take half of the water and mix with the malt (or sugar) and salt. Stir to dissolve
2
In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast in the remaining water
3
Fold the flour into the yeasted water, then add the salted water and mix until a nice soft dough comes together
4
Knead for 5 minutes until you have a smooth elastic dough. Place on an oiled tray and brush the dough with oil. Leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour
5
After one hour, flatten the dough using the tips of your fingers. Push the dough out to fit the tray. Lift the dough and make sure there is still oil underneath the dough as it may have absorbed it during the resting time. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and leave to rest for another 30 minutes
6
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
7
Use your fingertips to create irregular dimples in the dough, drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and chopped rosemary (if using). Sprinkle with a little water (use a spray bottle if you have one) and then bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden
8
Remove from the tray and leave to cool on a wire rack (or eat warm straight away)
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