It was hot here, so hot that fruit and gazpacho was all I could stomach. So far we have had such a mild summer that I was kind of shocked when it was suddenly over 30°C. And since we have no air condition, all I could do was wiping my face with a wet towel from time to time and sweat through the heat wave. But as soon as the temperatures went back to normal, I had to turn on the oven to make this really easy and delicious focaccia.
I admit it, although tomatoes are in season right now and their taste is amazing, those red fruits are not the main actor in this recipe. The key to making this flatbread really flavourful is olive oil. And it’s not just the taste, it’s the texture, too. So yes, you could leave out the oil, but that would result in a different recipe. The oil keeps the dough moist when baked, so that the texture will be similar to that of cheese pizza (without the melting and stretching of course).
Focaccia (serves 2-4)
For the dough:
250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
190 ml (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
5 g (3/4 teaspoon) salt
For the topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 handful fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients for the dough in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Then use your hands to make a soft dough. It will be rather liquid and sticky.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1.5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250°C (480°F) and have a piece of parchment paper ready that will fit the baking sheet. Knead the dough briefly and dump onto the parchment paper.
Drizzle one tablespoon of oil onto the dough and use your hands to press it into a 25 x 35 cm (10 x 14 inch) rectangle. Top with garlic, basil, and tomatoes. If you don’t want the basil and garlic to burn, place the tomatoe slices on top of those two ingredients. Drizzle with another tablesppon of oil or more to taste. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, sprinkle with pepper and serve immediately.