Wednesday, 7th September 2016

GBBO Pesto and mozzarella focaccia

GBBO Pesto and mozzarella focaccia

Welcome back to Gorenje’s Big Bake Off! This week it’s Bread Week, and we’re tackling one of the most delicious Italian breads – focaccia. Doused in basil and garlic pesto and oozing with mozzarella, this bread celebrates all things Italian, and is perfect on its own or paired with your favourite pasta dish.

The name focaccia comes from the Roman word, ‘panis focacius’. ‘Panis’ meaning bread and ‘focacius’ is the Latin word for fireplace. In Roman times, focaccia was cooked in the ashes of a fire rather than an oven. But rest assured, that won’t be necessary for this recipe! Preheat your oven to 180C/160C/gas 4 and prepare yourself for the cheesy, garlicy goodness that awaits. 

Recipe:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 ½ tsp salt 
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast 
  • 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 125g mozzarella 
  • 5tbsp of your favourite pesto Genovese 
  • Sea salt 

Method:

  1. Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and combine. Mix the yeast into 325ml tepid water. With your (freshly washed!) hands combine the water, oil and flour. When most of the liquid has been incorporated, use your hands to bring all the ingredients together into a ball of dough.
  2. Lightly dust a worktop with flour and tip out the dough. Knead the dough by pulling and stretching it for a minimum of 10 minutes. To make a light and fluffy focaccia, make sure you get as much air as possible into the dough. Put the kneaded dough into a well-oiled bowl. Leave it to rest for about an hour in a warm spot, until it’s doubled in size. If you’re unsure of where to put the dough to prove, a tumble dryer can be a great place – make sure it’s turned off, of course. 
  3. Once the dough has doubled, stretch it out onto a baking sheet until it’s about 20 x 30cm. Put the dough back in its warm spot for a second prove for around 30-40 minutes.
  4. After the second prove, gently press your fingers into it to make some holes. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the beautiful focaccia from the oven and tear strips of smooth mozzarella over it. Bake for a further 5-10 minutes until it’s a warm golden colour and cooked through. Drizzle with your favourite pesto and a pinch of sea salt. 
And there you have it. A wonderfully golden focaccia, crispy on the outside with a light and fluffy inside. If you’re unsure how to serve it, try pairing it with a chilled glass of white wine and creamy spaghetti carbonara. If you’ve been inspired by this Italian classic, do send us your pictures to @Gorenje_UK, or our Facebook page. Buon appetito! 
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