About a week ago, I catered an event organized by a friend’s student consulting agency. This was a great opportunity for me to try new recipes for belle and wild. My friend wanted finger food that didn’t require any cutlery, so I decided to make three focaccia breads and four spreads and dips. Obviously, each focaccia bread had different toppings; and the spreads and dips also each varied. What is the fun in simplicity, right? Hehe…
Until recently, I was a complete focaccia-making novice. After trying and tweaking various recipes, I have found the ultimate one, which results in ultra delicious focaccia bread. This bread not only tastes outlandishly good, but is also very simple to make and can be easily jazzed up with various toppings. Feel free to experiment with different toppings. Have fun with it!
BTW, this bread is made with spelt flour, which is loaded with nutrients. Spelt is rich in protein and dietary fiber (21% and 30% of your daily recommended intake respectively). Plus, it is a good source of iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, selenium, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folic acid. Spelt flour is my ultimate go-to flour. It not only tastes great and supports your health, but can also, more often than not, act as a substitute for white flour. There is really no reason not to use this super flour.
One Large Focaccia Bread with Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onion & Rosemary
- 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 3 1/2 cups spelt flour (Type 630)
- 1/2 cup whole-grain spelt flour (Type 1050)
- 2 tsps sea salt
- 1-2 tsps sugar (optional)
- 4 1/2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil – go for the better kind, if possible!
- 300g cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium-sized red onion
- 1-2 tbsps chopped fresh rosemary (to taste)
- Dissolve yeast in warm water in a medium-sized bowl. After about 5 minutes, the mixture should start to form and tiny bubbles should be visible.
- Whisk flours, salt and sugar together in a large bowl, before adding the dry ingredients to your mixer with a hook attachment.
- Add the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic – not sticky!, i.e. for roughly 5-8 minutes.
- Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a large bowl.
- Put in the dough and coat it on all sides.
- Cover bowl with a tea towel and keep it in a warm area until the dough is about double its original size, i.e. let it rest for approximately 2 hours.
- Coat the bottom and sides of your baking pan with vegetable butter or oil. Punch down the dough and place it in the pan. Using your fingertips, stretch the dough until it covers the bottom of the pan.
- While the dough takes another break, preheat your oven to 220°C and start prepping your toppings.
- Cut tomatoes into rounds; julienne or dice the red onion; and chop the rosemary.
- Place the tomato rounds and onion slices on top of the focaccia. Sprinkle with some course salt and rosemary. Coat everything with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Bake bread in the middle rack, for roughly 20-25 minutes, until it has a nice golden tan.
- Remove bread from the oven. Using a spatula, left bread off the baking pan and place it on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- The focaccia bread tastes ultra delicious when warm, but tastes just as well at room temperature or completely cooled off.
Advice: Other great topping-combos include:
- Apple & Onion
- Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives & Basil
- Pistachios, Green Olives & Rosemary