Focaccia is a wonderful bread to make as it can be used in many different guises. It can be served with pasta, on its own with a dipping sauce or even as a pizza base. Paul Ainsworth's focaccia recipe is perfect for all three.
Southampton-born Paul Ainsworth got his break courtesy of Gary Rhodes, whom he worked for three years. After that, he moved to Gordon Ramsay's organisation, working first at his flagship Royal Hospital Road restaurant and then with Marcus Wareing at Petrus.
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To make the dough, place everything except the water into a mixer with dough hook attached and mix until thoroughly combined (this can also be done by hand). While the mixer is running, pour in the warm water slowly. Let the mixer work the dough for 5 minutes before tipping out onto a greased work surface
10g of yeast
465g of flour
12.5g of salt
318ml of warm water
Continue kneading for about 5 minutes longer by stretching out the dough to arms length on the work surface, tucking the sides into the middle as you go
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave for around an hour to prove
Once the dough has doubled in size gently flatten and stretch to fit into 2 lined baking trays, pushing it into the corners as you go. Leave to prove again for approximately 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 8
Using the tips of your fingers, dimple the surface of the dough all over. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with sea salt and scatter over a few sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of rosemary
flaky sea salt
Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, brushing it with more olive oil as it cooks
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