For the focaccia
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 425g Baker’s White Flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 4 tablespoons SACLA Classic Pesto
- 1 cup (250ml) water
For the topping and baking
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mixed fresh herbs, chopped (rosemary, thyme, oregano)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
- Sea salt flakes, to garnish
Place the warm water, sugar, yeast and olive oil in a very large bowl. Allow to rise for 5 minutes.
Add flour, salt, pesto and 1-cup water to the bowl. Mix well with a silicone spoon or spatula for approximately 2-3 minutes until it forms a shaggy messy dough. The dough will be very soft.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a very large bowl. Tip the shaggy dough onto the oil in the bowl. Turn the dough once so that it is coated with olive oil. Cover with a tea towel and rest in a warm spot in your kitchen for 3-4 hours until the dough has more than doubled in size.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your baking tray or dish (I have used a 24cm shallow cast-iron skillet). Rub the oil all around the inner wall and base of the skillet.
Using two forks, lift the farthest edge of the soft dough ball in the bowl and fold it onto itself in the centre. Rotate the bowl by 90 degrees and using the forks, lift the farthest edge of the dough and fold it onto itself in the centre. Repeat this for a total of 4 times.
Using the silicone spatula/spoon, transfer the dough into the centre of the prepared baking dish. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for an hour. The dough will now have expanded to fill the entire dish.
Sprinkle the top with minced garlic, herbs and red chilli flakes. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil all over the surface of the dough.
Using all your fingers, gently poke the dough to form deep indents all over the surface.
Pre-heat oven to 220C (convection)/200C (fan-forced) for 10 minutes.
Place the baking dish with the focaccia in the pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 18-22 minutes until golden and brown on top. Remove from the oven and cool until just warm. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes, slice and serve.