‘You do not even need to measure the flour or buttermilk but I have included some guidelines here.
The buttermilk needs to be added to the flour mixture a little at a time. I claw my hands and use a circular movement to incorporate the buttermilk into the flour mixture, then quickly bring the dough together without over mixtuing or any kneading. the secret is to pre-heat the oven to a very high temperature of not less than 200C.
There is nothing more enticing than the smell of freshly baked bread.’
You will need:
450g self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil extra to brush after baking
Toppings such as olives, capers, herbs, anchovies, tomatoes and anything that takes your fancy.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Brush a baking tray lightly with olive oil.
Sieve the flour twice into a large bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda and olive oil .Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the buttermilk. Keep your hand stiff and your fingers spread out like a claw and start to mix the buttermilk into the flour mixture using a slow and firm circular motion. Add the remaining buttermilk and keep mixing like this until you have soft dough. Do not knead it but very gently bring it together.
Transfer the dough the oiled baking dish and spread it out by tapping it gently with your fingers. Brush the top with some more olive oil. Make dimples all over on the surface of the dough with your fingertips or use the end of a wooden spoon. Push a small piece of olive, caper, tomato and herbs into each dimple or use toppings of your choice. Then drizzle over the olive oil and spread with a brush.
Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes at 220 C until the bread is nice and golden on the top and bottom.
Remove the foccacia from the oven and while it is still hot, brush with a little more olive oil over the top and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.
Saxa Salt by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd
Buttermilk at Quality Foods
Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive oil by Rimus Group
Bicarbonate of soda by Doves Farm and other baking products by Good Earth Distributors Ltd
Fresh Vegetables from Big Fresh Mosta and Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola
Prestige non-stick oven dish Medium Telephone 79415384