This is a recipe from the Ballymaloe Cookery Course. It would probably cause an Italian baker to cry, but it does not require proofing, can be made, baked and served in 30 minutes, and tastes pretty damn good. It is a variation on Irish soda bread, so it is best eaten fresh.It is light and crispy, plus homemade bread always looks like an impressive effort, so just make it and never tell anyone how easy it was. Focaccia can be plain or made with any variety of flavourings you feel like. I’m a fan of the rosemary and red onion combination, though olive and feta is also good too, so just use this recipe as a base for adding your favourites.
- 450g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt.
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 600ml buttermilk
- Olive oil
- Sea salt (optional)
- Rosemary (optional)
- Red onion (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl
- Add the buttermilk in a well in the middle.
- Using a kind of claw like gesture, stir the mixture in circles with your hand.
- Continue to do so until all the mixture has come together.
- It should be soft and not too sticky, so you may have to add more milk or flour, depending on the consistency.
- Mix in the onion and some chopped rosemary (or whatever you choose to use) reserving some to scatter on top.
- Press into an oiled baking tray.
- Top with the remaining onion and rosemary, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for approximately 15 minutes, until golden.
- The bottom of the bread, if tapped, should sound hollow, as an indicator that its cooked through.
- Cool on a wire rack, cut into slices and serve.