Foccacia with olives, garlic and onion

Straight out of the oven

I love bread and I can eat it any time of the day. In fact, I could eat it for all my meals too! The smell of freshly baked bread is just a heavenly aroma and I can never get tired of trying the different varieties of bread. Since I have a weakness for anything Italian, trying out the foccacia had been on my mind for a long time and one of those days when I had enough time at hand, I decided to give it a shot.

You can bake the whole thing in a loaf tin or cake tin and slice it later or even make mini loaves like I’ve done. 
Here’s what you will need:
3 cups of maida
2 tsp of instant yeast
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp of sugar
1/2 cup of warm water
1 tsp dried herbs
1/4 cup of chopped olives
1 small onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of olives, chopped
Olive oil

Warm the water and dissolve the sugar in this, now add the yeast to it and give it a little stir. Cover this and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes, at the end of this the yeast should have activated and formed a frothy foam on the top. If this hasn’t happened, give it 10 mins more if it still doesn’t work then discard and begin again. I used instant yeast for this, but you could use the fresh one too as I’ve heard it provides better results.

Mix the flour and salt together, make a well in between this and pour in the yeast mixture. Now knead well using water to combine the dough. When it all comes together form a log with the dough, place it in an oiled vessel, cover and keep it in a warm, dark corner for 2-3 hours until it has risen considerably. It isn’t necessary for the foccacia dough to double in size but allow it to rise to a certain level. Now transfer the dough to a flat work space, dust it with a little flour and knead for 10 minutes. Add the herbs, garlic and olive oil to this and knead again. Divide into equal portions and form logs or buns, sprinkle with some more herbs, olives and onion. Arrange these on a greased baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. (The temperature-time combination differs for each person depending on a lot of factors, so only trial and error will get you the combination that works best for you.)

Remove them from the oven when they are slightly golden and done. Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.


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