Saturday lunch – just a little something you knocked up for your friends!
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Focaccia – it’s just one of those things I never make. Seems too fiddly, too cheffy to attempt at home.
Mais non, mes amis (or whatever that may be in Italian). I have the foolproof recipe here from Muddy Stilettos’ resident bespoke chef Paul Collins. Impress your friends on a Saturday lunchtime as you casually bring it out the oven, timed to perfection with some picky nibbly bits, dips or a fresh soup (from Covent Garden Soup Company, haha!).
I’m giving it a stab on Saturday. Anyone else who tries to make it, the comment box is below!
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Proving time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
500g strong bread flour
200g small round shallots
340ml warm water
1 sachet of fast dried yeast
Pinch of caster sugar
10g Maldon sea salt
Topping: cooked shallots, rosemary, sea salt
What to do
1. Pour the warm water in to a bowl and add the yeast. Whisk this together then add half the flour to form a very wet dough. Put in a warm area to prove.
2. Whilst the dough is proving, peel the shallots and sauté in olive oil in a non-stick pan for about 10 minutes until almost cooked through.
3. After 40 minutes when the dough should have risen, add the remaining flour, salt, sugar and one tablespoon of olive oil and mix together thoroughly.
4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well until nice and smooth, about 10 minutes.
5. Place back in to a bowl, drizzle over a little olive oil and cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove once more (about 40 minutes).
6. When this is done turn out again on to a floured surface and stretch it into a large rectangle and then fold over itself in thirds. Now there should be 3 layers.
7. Place on an oiled non-stick tray and drizzle with more olive oil, now push your fingers into the dough to spread it out and to make the ‘holes’. Decorate the top of the dough with the cooked shallots (pushing some into the dough) and rosemary.
8. Allow these to prove once more until almost doubled in height about 30 minutes and then sprinkle some Maldon sea salt over the top.
9. Cook in a hot preheated oven at 220c for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 200c and turn the tray around. Cook for a further 15 – 20 minutes.
10. Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil.
Check out more of Paul’s recipes at www.UKshallot.com.