Home made foccacia bread is a great way to stretch a simple meal. This was a regular addition to our table when we had two hungry teenage boys living at home! It is basically a bread dough which you place into a baking dish and then top with pizza-like toppings. You can make the topping as simple or as complex as you like. I tend to keep it simple, with just crushed tomatoes, herbs, garlic and a little cheese usually. This recipe will be super easy if you have a bread machine, but it can be made with a heavy duty mixer or even by hand! It is a great way to make a dinner of soup acceptable to hungry boys!
- 2 cups slightly warm water
- 2 tsp yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp bread improver
- 4 3/4 cups plain flour
- roughly half a can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- generous sprinkle of oregano
- a sprinkle of grated cheese of your choice
- Place water into either bread machine or mixer bowl.
- Add all other ingredients in the order that is listed.
- Turn bread machine on to dough setting or mix in heavy duty mixer with dough hook until well combined and dough comes together. You may need to add a tiny bit more water if dough appears dry. You can also mix the dough by hand and kneed it until the dough becomes a bit stretchy.
- Leave dough in the mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm place for it to rise.
- Once dough has roughly doubled in size, tip the dough into a lined baking tin and spread it to the shape of the tin with your hands.
- Spread dough with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and cheese.
- Place into a warm place for it to rise again, maybe for half an hour or an hour depending on how much time you have. I like to sit mine in the griller draw of my oven while the oven is pre-heating.
- Once dough has risen a little, bake on 180 C for 25 minutes or so.