A couple of months ago, Peter G from Souvlaki for the Soul posted a recipe for an olive flatbread that I fell in love with instantly. I left a comment telling him that I was going to forward it to my husband with a "subtle hint" that it would be a very welcome birthday gift. Well, my birthday came, and my wonderful spouse made the bread for me. It was everything I could have possibly wanted it to be, which is just more proof that I have the best husband in the whole wide world. Thank you, honey, and thanks to Peter for the wonderful recipe!
While the original recipe came from an Australian food website, he made some changes, so I’m posting his version of the recipe here. In particular, he used a stand mixer to prepare the dough, rather than kneading it by hand. Also, he added some chopped olives and rosemary to the dough in addition to topping the bread with these ingredients. The recipe as written made the dough too wet, so he added some additional flour to firm it up. Finally, the bread was baked in our Big Green Egg, rather than in the oven, though an oven could have just as easily been used.
Olive and Rosemary Focaccia (Makes one loaf. Approximate cost per serving not available)
For the Dough
1 ¼ cups warm water
2 teaspoons sugar (I used turbinado – it’s what we had)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
3 ¼ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
6 kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
For the Topping
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary
20 kalamata olives, pitted but whole
- Stand mixer (As prepared. You could also modify the technique to use a bread machine, or knead by hand, as suggested in the original recipe)
- Round bread pan or cookie sheet
1. Put warm water, sugar, oil, and yeast into the mixing bowl. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes, or until yeast has clearly activated.
2. Add 2 cups flour and the salt to the yeast mixture. Using your stand mixer’s dough hook, mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
3. Slowly add additional flour, leaving time for it to mix into the dough. When the consistency is correct, the dough will form a ball on the dough hook
4. Increase the speed of your mixer, and allow to knead for 5 minutes.
5. Add the chopped olives and rosemary. Continue to mix for another minute, or enough to mix the ingredients into the dough. Don’t mix for too long, or the olives will get pulped out of existence.
6. If the consistency of the dough is too wet, add flour a bit at a time while mixing on low speed, until it firms up.
7. Once the dough has been kneaded, put it in a floured or oiled bowl, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
8. ‘Punch down’ the dough, lightly kneading it to remove any large air pockets that may have built up. Press it into your bread pan. If you don’t have an appropriate pan, roll it out to approximately 3/4” thick on a cookie sheet.
9. Cover with a wet towel, and allow to rise for another 20 minutes.
10. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
11. Use your fingertips to press dimples into the surface of the dough. Brush on the olive oil, press the olives into the dough, and sprinkle the rosemary over the top.
12. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown in color and makes a hollow sound when tapped.
13. Serve warm or at room temperature (if it lasts that long)