Focaccia bread make the best sandwiches. They’re so springy and full of lovely pockets of air just begging to soak up all of the flavours. Imagine filling these fluffy Italian breads with roasted veggies and pesto OR grilled meats or salami and cheese, like mozarella and provolone. The possibilities! If sandwiches aren’t your thing, they’re just as good for dipping in olive oil and balsamic vinegar OR eaten with a big, hearty bowl of soup.
Now, this focaccia that I made…it’s quite spicy. My whole body broke into sweats while eating it. If you can’t take the heat replace the scotch bonnet peppers with something milder! OR not.
Scotch Bonnet Focaccia
From Paul Hollywood’s Focaccia recipe on BBC Food
olive oil, for drizzling
fine sea salt
1 scotch bonnet pepper, julienned and seeds removed
Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml/10½fl oz of the water into a large bowl. (If using fresh yeast dissolve the yeast in water first.) Gently stir with your hand or a wooden spoon to form a dough then knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes, gradually adding the remaining water.
Rub some oil on your hands and stretch the dough in the bowl by tucking the sides into the centre. Turn the bowl 80 degrees and repeat the process for about five minutes.
Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for five more minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Line a deep baking dish (I used a 9 x 9-inch tray) with baking paper. Tip the dough out of the bowl and flatten it a bit, careful not to pop the air bubbles. Sprinkle the peppers on top then leave to proof for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Dimple the top of the dough with your fingers, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fine sea salt then bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done by tapping the bottom of the bread and hear a hollow sound. Once cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve hot or warm.