This light Italian flat bread is prepared from a soft dough enriched with olive oil. This focaccia recipe uses just enough olive oil to give a good texture and flavour. Focaccia makes an ideal accompaniment to Italian meats, cheeses and salads.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Place the flour in a large bowl and stir in the salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre and pour in 4 tablespoons olive oil and the water. Gradually mix the flour in; use a wooden spoon, then your hand, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Keep the dough moving by turning, punching and folding it to prevent it from sticking. Sprinkle the surface with a little extra flour if necessary, but try not to add too much as this will make the dough dry.
Shape into a ball and slap onto a greased baking sheet, then roll it out (or push it out with your hands) into a round about 20 cm in diameter and 2 cm thick. Cover loosely with a clean dish towel, tuck the ends under the sheet, and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in thickness.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC). Uncover the dough. Pour a little hand-hot water into a cup, then dip your fingers into the water and press into the risen dough to make deep dents all over the top; wet your fingers each time, to leave the top of the loaf moist. Brush the remaining olive oil over the bread and sprinkle with the sea salt.
Bake the focaccia for about 15 minutes or until golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then wrap it in a clean dish towel to soften the crust. Serve warm or allow to cool completely. Focaccia can be kept in a plastic bag for up to 2 days.
Per wedge: 276 calories, 6 g protein, 10 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 41 g total carbohydrate, 0.1 g sugars, 2 g fibre, 456 mg sodium
Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat, which may help to lower blood cholesterol levels.