Wild Garlic Focaccia Bread
Updated: May 2, 2019
Yes, yes, and another very loud yes.
You'll love this recipe if you are a lover of Italian food, Bread making, have a glut of Wild Garlic or are just hungry. There is nothing more satisfying than making your own bread and Focaccia flavoured with the wonderful Wild Garlic is a winner.
Focaccia bread is an Italian bread that is baked, flat in the oven. The texture is soft and the bread is packed with air bubbles making it soft in texture. You can eat Foccacia bread on its own with a little more Olive Oil and perhaps some cheese, ham or olives. Alternatively it can be a great accompaniment to a meal, served alongside, warm of course and exceptionally scrummy.
Wild Garlic Focaccia Bread
500g Strong White Bread Flour
10g Maldon Salt (extra for the topping)
325ml warm water
Glug of Olive Oil
200g Wild Garlic Leaves and Flowers
100g Almonds (Finely chopped)
The hardest thing about making bread is the waiting. Waiting for the yeast to do their work so you can eat it!! Bread is easy to make as long as you give it time; the right amount of time kneading, the right amount of time to rise, the right amount of time to cook.
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Finely shred about a 1/4 of your Wild Garlic ready to put through mix. Place your flour, yeast, salt, warm water, shredded Wild Garlic and a good healthy glug of Olive Oil into a mixing bowl and thoroughly combine. Pour the mix out onto a clean work surface and begin the kneading process. Kneading is relatively easy, the only challenge is that this dough is quite wet and can be a little troublesome to work in its early stages. To knead, form a ball of dough, use one hand to secure the edge of the dough ball to the work surface, then using the palm of your other hand push the dough away from you to stretch the flour fibres. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, no less! Or use a dough hook in a food processor for 5 to 8 mins. Then put the dough back into a clean bowl and allow to rise in a warm place such as on top of your oven for an hour or so (until the mix has at least doubled in size).
Note: The amount of water that you need in this recipe can vary and depends on the flour that you use. Foccacia dough should be wetter than a normal bread dough. Wetter perhaps than you might think. So if you are finding it easy to knead, perhaps similar to a normal bread, then add a little more water. For those big bubbles to appear the dough has to be quite wet and super soft. If you are finding the Foccacia difficult to knead, use a couple of bread paddles, keep it moving.. You'll get there!
Prepare your cooking tray, you want a non stick shallow tray (about 25cm x 35cm), oil the tray thoroughly with Olive Oil.
When your Focaccia dough has doubled in size (30 mins to an hour in a warm kitchen), knock it back a little and then place it in the prepared tray. Now you need to make the Focaccia fit the tray, evenly pushing the mix into a large flat square the size of your tray - make sure the dough is evenly spread and makes it into all of the corners. Now allow the bread to rise again for another 30 minutes to an hour. Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees.
Whilst this second rising is happening prepare your remaining Wild Garlic. Simply wash and dry the leaves, reserving the flowers and then finely chop (just the leaves). Also take your Almonds (if you have whole Almonds) and very finely slice /chop these too.
When the Focaccia has risen again use your thumb to gently (but firmly) make a pattern over the surface, these small pools will retain the Wild Garlic and Olive Oil later on but also add texture to the bread. Place in the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
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When 12 minutes has passed quickly take the bread from the oven (making sure to close the oven door quickly to retain the heat). Sprinkle the top of the bread the chopped Almonds and evenly distribute the Finely Chopped Wild Garlic. Finish with a good pinch of Coarse Maldon Salt and a grinding of Black Pepper, then finish the bread with a little more Olive Oil. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes until golden brown.
Once cooked your kitchen will be filled with the intoxicating fume of fresh bread and warm Wild Garlic. Take the Wild Garlic Focaccia bread and place the now golden and herby slab on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve in nice big wedges decorated with the reserved white Wild Garlic flowers, with some sun dried tomatoes and Olives. Perfect for an appetiser or just as a greedy lunch!
Once you have made Wild Garlic Foccacia once you'll never go back to shop bought Foccacia's. This Focaccia recipe is so good that you'll feel emotional when the Wild Garlic season comes to an end..