Old-style Focaccia

This old-style focaccia incorporates a bit of lard, which I personally find absolutely delightful. However, it is best when served warm; otherwise the taste of lard predominates. You can easily reheat it in the oven the next day and it is still fantastic.

 

4 cups/500g cake flour

1 tbsp. Salt

¼ cup/50g lard

Water

50g/ 1.7oz fresh yeast

1 tbsp. sugar

Olive oil

Sea salt grains

Fresh rosemary


On top of a warm burner dissolve the yeast. Then add the sugar and ½ cup of the flour. Turn the burner off; cover the pot and leave the yeast to prove for about 30 minutes.

Next, using a dough-hook-mixer combine the remaining flour with salt, lard and the yeast mixture. Add about ½ - ¾ cup warm water until the dough sticks together. Process for 7-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth.

Generously coat a large bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a kitchen cloth and leave to rise in warm place, for about an hour; until at least doubled.

Generously coat a shallow baking dish (i.e. pizza tray) with olive oil. Then press the risen dough to fit the dish. Next scatter on top of the dough sea salt and fresh rosemary; sprinkle with a lot of olive oil. Cover with a kitchen cloth and keep for another hour in a warm place until rises.

Bake the bread for 30 minutes in 200°C/390°F oven, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Focaccia is best when eaten fresh. Store in an airtight container and reheat in the oven for later consumption.


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