Focaccia Bread with Olives

Focaccia Bread with Olives

This tasty Italian Focaccia Bread recipe which is mixed in a bread machine and hand-baked produces a flat loaf with a slightly crunchy crust and golden appearance. Perfect with pasta dishes, the olives add extra flavour.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Bread Machine Dough Mixing: 45 mins (check your machine timings)
Proving Time: 30 mins
Baking Time: 20 – 30 mins
Ready In: 1 hr 50 mins to 2 hrs

Dough Ingredients

  • ½ tsp Dried Yeast (for bread machines)
  • 300g Strong White Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 200 ml Water

For the Topping

  • 24 fresh Sage Leaves – stalks or any hard pieces removed
  • 100g (4 oz) Pitted Green or Black Olives – halved
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Method

  • Mix the dough ingredients in your bread machine using the basic pizza dough recipe (45 minutes) with dry ingredients in the pan first followed by liquid on top as stated in the bread recipe book
  • Once the dough is mixed, remove it from the bread machine pan
  • On a lightly floured rolling board, knead the dough and make a small well in the centre
  • Chop half of the sage leaves into small pieces and knead them into the dough together with 75 g olives
  • Lightly roll to approx. 30 cm x 25 cm and pull the corners to a squarish shape with slightly rounded corners
  • Line your tin or tray with foil and drizzle a little olive oil over the surface, smear this and sprinkle a little flour onto the top. Tap the tin so that flour covers the area where the bread will sit. This will stop the dough from sticking
  • Place the shaped dough onto the tray or tin
  • Sprinkle on the remaining sage leaves, tear slightly, together with 25 g of olives sliced thickly
  • Lightly drizzle with olive oil
  • Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm area for approx 30 minutes
  • Drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven (190°c / 355°f / gas mark 5) for 20-30 minutes until well cooked in the centre and golden brown on the edges

Hints & Tips

When the dough is made initially, just tip up the pan and allow it to fall onto a lightly-floured rolling board or similar.

When proving, use a damp tea towel to direct gentle heat around the proving bread. Do not allow the tea towel to touch the bread. Use a skewer or similar to straddle the tin. This should not be done anywhere near a naked flame.

Keep the bread warm once proven and place in a pre-heated oven. Do not open the oven for at least 15 mins, turn if necessary after this time but return to the oven immediately.Cook for at least 20 mins, turn down the heat slightly if starting to burn or lift the edges of the foil slightly with oven gloves.

Choosing a bread machine can be difficult but we highly recommend the Panasonic Automatic Breadmaker range. Although more expensive than some models, the Panasonic machines produce great results and we have had ours for some years now.

Our favourite choice of white flour for this recipe is Waitrose Canadian Strong White Flour which produces good results and flavours every time. Traditionally milled, it is sold by Waitrose in 1.5 kg bags.

Recommended Equipment

  • Panasonic Bread Machine
  • Rolling pin
  • Tin tray Non-Stick Baking Tray, 39 x 27 cm (15.5″ x 10.5″)
  • Tin foil
  • Tea towel

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