A most warming and fragrant rustic bread stuffed with Spinach, Parmesan, Olives, Mozzarella & Herbs... I can only describe this as moreish – you can’t get enough of it!
Prep time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes
450g/16oz Strong Plain White Flour, sifted
7g/2 tsp dried yeast
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
300 ml warm water
100g/3 ½ oz spinach
125g/4 ½ oz mozzarella cheese, chopped
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
4 tbsp/16 kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp rosemary, chopped (plus extra for decoration)
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Sea salt for sprinkling
1. Place the flour in a large bowl and mix in the yeast, make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and water. Mix together.
2. Do not worry if the dough is too wet and sticky just add extra flour. Knead the mixture on to a floured surface for at least 10 minutes until you have smooth and elastic dough. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours until it has almost doubled in size.
3. Meanwhile blanch the spinach in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the spinach to remove all excess water and place in a bowl with the mozzarella, olives, thyme and rosemary. Season and mix well.
4. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Brush a 25cm loose cake tin with oil. Punch the dough and divide it into two pieces, roll one piece slightly bigger than the other. Place the larger piece on the bottom of the tin and mould the dough around the sides so it is slightly higher than the base.
5. Spread the spinach mixture over the base and leave a gap 1cm from the edge. Brush the edge with water and place the other rolled piece of dough on top pressing the edges to seal.
6. With your finger press the dough all over and pierce in places with small snips of rosemary and then brush with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle the bread with sea salt and place in the oven for 30 minutes until risen and firm.
7. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes in the tin and then place on a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve whilst warm.
* If you are lucky to have some focaccia leftover it will make a delicious lunch.