Jess Daniell of Jess' Underground Kitchen is sharing some recipes with us over the festive and summer period. Find more of her recipes and food inspiration here.
"This is such an easy bread recipe, and it turns out perfectly every time. You can bake the focaccia plain with salt or add ingredients into the bread before baking for a glorious seasonal twist.
Here I’ve used spring onions and asparagus for a spring brunch recipe, and also topped a salted focaccia with a fresh cherry, basil & goats’ cheese salad for my festive twist on a ‘caprese’. What will your favourite be?"
¾ cup warm water
½ tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp instant yeast
6 tbsp good quality olive oil
1 ¾ cups high quality flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp flaky salt, for topping
1 handful asparagus, trimmed
1 handful spring onions, trimmed
½ cup crème fraiche
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
1 handful basil leaves, purple & green if you can find them
100g fresh goats’ cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp olive oil
½ lemon, zested & juiced
Makes 4 serves
Takes 60 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 100ºC. Place the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and stir gently. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour and the salt. Make a small well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix together gently until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix until combined. Gradually at the remaining flour and turn out onto a floured surface, kneading gently until you have a smooth ball of dough.
3. Grease a skillet or a shallow pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place the dough in the middle, gently pressing it into a flat disk to take on the shape of the pan. Drizzle with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Cover pan with a clean tea towel.
4. Place pan in the oven and turn the oven off. Let the bread rise for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the tea towel.
5. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Gently press down on the bread with your fingers, to create little dimples all over.
To make spring focaccia:
Trim the asparagus and spring onions to size and place lengthways across the focaccia. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with extra olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly on a rack before dotting with crème fraiche before serving.
To make summer focaccia:
Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. In a small bowl, toss together the salad ingredients, seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and scatter on top of the focaccia before serving.