Ad | PR samples*. Like for so many others, the lockdown has brought out the baker in me. I have stuck to what I know, which is sweet bakes but over the weekend, I attempted to make bread. I don’t think I’ve baked bread since the obligatory walnut bread baking class in secondary school. The closest I’ve got it heating up garlic bread in the oven. When I try something new, I don’t go easy on myself. I decided to make focaccia bread.

Sous Chef Italian Food

Sous Chef sent me an Italian themed food parcel a couple of weeks ago and on opening it, I found a bag of 00 flour, colourful pasta, a lovely serving bowl and two jars of pesto. I might make a pasta salad when I think the pasta is too cute to eat debating between making my own pizza dough or making bread with the flour, the coin fell on the latter. I have made pizza plenty of times before so I wanted to try something new. In addition to the red and green pesto, I bought some mozzarella to garnish with.

00 flourGreen and red pesto

I have never made focaccia before but for a first attempt I think I did alright. It tasted lovely (you’ll have to trust me on that) but I think I could have done better with the texture. I need to get more air into the dough next time I attempt it. I have enough flour left to make another bread.

The green and red pesto are both delicious. I’ll definitely use the remainder of them to make pasta sauce. I think I might use the red as a pizza sauce next time I make pizza. I’m currently mixing mustard into my mayo but I might try with pesto as well. Pesto mayo is surely a thing.

Focaccia bread with pesto and mozarellaHow to make focaccia breadFocaccia Bread

Anyways, here’s the recipe I used to make the focaccia bread. I believe I found it on BBC Good Food’s website, slightly modified.

Focaccia Bread Recipe

500g bread flour, plus some for dusting
1.5 tsp salt
7g sachet yeast
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
125g mozzarella ball (drained)
5 tbsp pesto
sea salt

How To Make Focaccia Bread

  1. Put the flour into a bowl and mix in the salt.
  2. In another bowl, mix the yeast into 325ml tepid water.
  3. Add the water and oil to the flour and mix well. When most of the liquid is mixed in, use your hands to make the ingredients into a ball.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a worktop lightly dusted with flour and work it by pulling and stretching for at least 10 mins. Try to get as much air into it as possible.
  5. Put the ball of worked dough into a well-oiled bowl. Cover it with a little more oil and a tea towel or cling film. Leave to rest for one hour or so in a non-draughty warm spot, until doubled in size.
  6. Once the dough has doubled in size, stretch it out onto a baking sheet until it’s about 20 x 30cm in size.
  7. Leave the dough to rise to about half as high again. For about 30-40 mins in a warm draught-free place, loosely covered with a tea towel.
  8. Heat oven to 180C or 160C if you have a fan oven.
  9. When the dough has risen, press your fingers into it gently to make some holes.
  10. Bake for about 15 mins, then remove from the oven.
  11. Tear over the mozzarella, then bake for another 5-10 mins until golden and cooked through.
  12. Drizzle over the pesto and scatter with sea salt, if you like.
  13. Serve straight away.

Have you made focaccia bread before? Any tips or tricks to share? What other flavours do you like?

Jennie xx

*Sous Chef sent me the bundle of Italian foods in return for this blog post. Words, views and photos are my own.