Try this golden focaccia bread made from scratch and showcasing roasted beetroot wedges, sea salt, beetroot leaves, rosemary and basil.
- No beetroot? Try with onion, potatoes, and/or tomatoes.
- No honey? Use the sweetener of your choice. The sweetener helps the yeast develop better.
- No rosemary? Try with thyme or oregano instead.
Prep time: 150 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 180 minutes
For the dough:
500 g Strong flour (type OO)
7 g Dried yeast
1 tsp Runny honey / Agave syrup
375 ml Warm water
40 ml Olive oil (more for greasing)
For the brine:
35 ml Warm water
½ tsp Fine salt
For the topping:
a bunch of Beetroots
2 sprig Rosemary (chopped)
10 Basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
- Make the focaccia dough: In a medium bowl, add 300 ml lukewarm water along with the yeast, honey/sugar and olive oil. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a large bowl, add the flour and 1 tsp of salt. Whisk to combine, make a well in the middle and pour in the yeasty water. Use a fork to whisk the flour into the liquid until combined. Start to knead the dough in the bowl with your hands. Drizzle the work surface with a little olive oil and tip the dough onto it. Knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smoother. The dough will be soft and sticky - do not add flour. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a clean bowl and put the dough in. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 1.5 hours until doubled in size.
- Prepare the toppings: Preheat the oven to 200C/180 fan/6 gas mark. Cut the beetroot in wedges, and chopped the beetroot leaves. Place the beetroot wedges in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Toss and roast for 20-35 minutes, until tender.
- Do the second prove: Grease a large oven tray with olive oil. Knock out some of the air in the dough by folding the sides in, then put the dough in the prepared tray and use your fingers to push and stretch it out to fit the tray. Leave to prove again for 30 minutes.
- Bake the focaccia: Preheat the oven to 220C/200 fan/7 gas mark. Combine the brine ingredients together. Grease your fingers with a little oil and press down all over the focaccia to create holes in the dough. Pour the brine over the top, then scatter the beetroot wedges evenly all over. Add the rosemary, beetroot leaves and basil over too. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with flaky salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to sit for 10 minutes before slicing. If you find the bottom to be a little soggy, place the focaccia back into the oven tray bottom side up, and bake for 5 minutes.
How to store
Store the focaccia at room temperature in a linen bread bag.
Enjoy with a side of green salad, with a simple mustard, garlic and olive oil dressing. The focaccia will keep for a few days in a linen bread bag.