These are so easy to make so easy to eat. The perfect accompaniment to soups casseroles rice dishes or anywhere you would use bread. It's lovely as a snack on it's own too. Very hard to resist when fresh from the oven. Known in Italy as Focaccia bread from the Latin word focus which means hearth. The embers of the hearth were where this bread was traditionally baked. They are very much a moveable feast and can incorporate sun dried tomatoes roasted peppers olives capers or fresh herbs. In this recipe cheese is used in the dough and the breads are topped with a cheats version of garlic and parsley oil topping. The mustard and cayenne pepper really bring out the flavour of the cheese
The original recipe is from How To be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. This bears a passing resemblance to the original.
500gms/1lb2oz white bread flour
1 sachet fast action yeast
2 teaspoons salt
100gms/4oz strong cheddar cheese grated
1 good teaspoon English mustard
A few shakes of cayenne pepper
300-400mls /101/2-14 fluid ozs warm water
5 tablespoons olive oil plus more for greasing and topping
Fresh or dried parsley or pesto
Combine the flour salt yeast and cheese in a bowl
Mix the olive oil with 300mls of the warm water and add to the dry ingredients.
Using an oiled hand mix together until a soft dough using a extra water if needed.
Knead for ten minutes by hand or whatever your preferred method is.
Form into a ball and leave in a lightly oiled bowl covered with cling film in a warm place until doubled in size.
Knock back and pull out of the bowl.
Divide into 2 or 4 pieces (2 makes very large breads)
Set the balls of dough on a greased baking sheet and either press or roll out into ovals.
Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for about 30 minute.
In the meantime, combine some jarred garlic with parsley/pesto and olive oil until a thickish pouring paste.
When the bread is nice and puffy, dimple it gently with your finger tips, pour and spread the olive oil mixture over.
Bake in a preheated oven 190.C/375.F/Gas5 for 15-20 minutes until nicely golden.
When they come out of the oven drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle some salt.
Serves four generously.
Try and resist just one bite.........
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