So what do you think of when I say 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'?
Chances are, you're picturing Tom Cruise jumping on her couch, and that iconic Pontiac giveaway.
"You get a car....you get a car....you get a car....you ALL get a car!"
On a much smaller scale, I feel much like Oprah, as I bestow all with a treasured recipe you'll use always.
This simply amazing, no-knead foccacia is made using just 4 pantry ingredients, it's stirred up in minutes, and you have the option of two different rising schedules to best suit you.
It's just wonderful as a 'tear 'n share' bread at a BBQ or picnic, it can be split through the middle to make the most incredible Italian-style sandwiches, it doubles as a thick crust pizza base, and can be dressed up as part of an antipasti selection.
Move over, Oprah, and make way for Meatland.
I'm positive you'll be using this gem of a recipe long after those gifted cars have been scrapped.
4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast granules*
2 cups cold tap water (see notes)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Maldon salt OR kosher salt but Maldon is way better
* Sold in a small vacuum pack in the baking section. Bravo is a typical brand name.
1: Combine flour, salt and yeast in a deep bowl, add tap water and mix with a large spoon/spatula till all the flour is incorporated to make a loose, sticky dough, then cover and leave out on the kitchen counter for 10 hours. See notes for how to speed up rising time.
2: Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil onto a cookie sheet pan lined with baking paper and turn the oven on to 220 C.
3: Using two forks , pull the sticky dough away from the sides of the bowl, and scrape onto the oiled pan. Briefly roll ball of dough in oil to coat completely and allow to rise again for 20 minutes while the oven heats.
4: Pour over the final tablespoon of oil and then, using your fingers, press the dough down to stretch as close as possible to the corners of your cookie sheet. Push down with your fingers to create dimples all over as these little pockets hold flavor.
5: Sprinkle over Maldon salt - add a few rosemary sprigs if desired - and bake for 20 to 25 minutes till puffed up, lightly golden and crisp underneath.
COOK'S NOTES: I like this long rising time because I can stir up the dough in minutes in the morning and then bake at my convenience in the late afternoon/early evening. If I'm entertaining in the morning, I add the water the night before, and let it rise on the counter overnight. However, if you don't remember to mix dough ahead of time, you can replace the cold tap water with warm water and then you only need to let it rise for 1 1/2 hours. You can add chilli flakes to the olive oil if desired, serve foccacia with pesto, caramelized onions, olives, roast vegetables and more. An indispensable addition to your recipe collection.