Fast Focaccia with Strawberries

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

This is truly lovely. The kind of thing you like just being at the same table with. The strawberries must be incredible — sweet and bursting with flavour. If yours are not, you may need more sugar. You can serve this as a snack or for breakfast, it’s something between a sweet and a bread.

Ingredients

  • 20 g (¾ oz) fresh yeast
  • 310 ml (10¾ fl oz/ cups) warm water
  • 4 heaped tablespoons sugar
  • 400 g (14 oz/2⅔ cups) bread (strong) flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) strawberries
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, to serve

Method

Crumble the yeast into a large bowl and stir in the water with 1 heaped tablespoon of the sugar. Add the flour and salt and knead lightly dipping your hands in a little flour if necessary to give a soft, stickler than usual dough.

Flick a little water over a good-sized baking tray (about 33 x 30 cm/13 x 12 inches). Line with a piece of baking paper, ironing the paper down with your hands so it sticks. Dribble the olive oil on and spread this over the paper (with your hands if you like, for your skin to benefit from the great properties of olive oil). Now put the dough on the tray and begin to spread it to completely cover the tray. It probably won’t cooperate immediately, so stretch it to perhaps halfway, then leave it for 5 minutes or so and go back to it after its rest. Stretch and press it with your palms to edge it out to the sides of the tray. Cover with a high cake net if you have one and then a tea towel, or a similar system so that the dough won’t touch the cloth. Leave it in a warm draught-free place to rise, about 1-1½ hours.

Meanwhile, rinse the strawberries and remove their green hats. Leave small ones whole, halve medium-sized ones and cut large ones into thirds. Put them in a bowl and scatter with 2 heaped tablespoons of sugar. Turn them through gently and leave at room temperature, covered.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). When the dough has puffed up nicely, gently turn the strawberries again, being careful not to break or mash them. Quickly and gently, so the dough doesn’t deflate, place them all over the dough, keeping most of them upright so they look good once baked. Dribble the juices here and there as you go. Scatter the last heaped tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top, right to the sides. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the focaccia is golden and crisp on the edges and the strawberries have a lovely juicy look about them, almost scorched on a few edges. Make sure the middle part is cooked too, turning the tray around if necessary for the last 5 minutes. Don’t overcook or the strawberries will collapse into a jam. Remove. Cool. Shake icing sugar over the top. Cut off pieces with kitchen scissors. Eat.