Once I started researching recipes, realised that there are so many flavour combinations, and it was hard to whittle it down. But in the end I chose simple combinations of vine tomato and fresh basil, and red onion and parmigiano reggiano.
For the basic dough (recipe from Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood)
500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
2 sachets dried easy blend yeast (14g)
2 tbsp olive oil
400ml/14fl oz cold water
olive oil, for drizzling
fine sea salt
finely sliced vine tomato and fresh basil leaves
finely sliced red onion rings and grated parmigiano reggiano
Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml/10½fl oz of the water into a large bowl. Gently stir with your hand or a wooden spoon to form a dough then knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes, gradually adding the remaining water.
Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the centre, turn the bowl 80 degrees and repeat the process for about five minutes. I found this point a little disconcerting - it felt more like a wet, sticky cake batter than what I recognise as bread dough. But resist the temptation to add more flour. I found pulling it upwards out of the bowl and let it stretch back down helped a lot to bring it together to a dough.
Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for five more minutes.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.
Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper (I used one large one and underestimated how much they would expand during the second prove!). Tip the dough out of the bowl and divide into two portions. Flatten each portion onto a baking sheet, then leave to prove for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/425°F/Gas 7. Make small wells over the dough with oiled fingers, and then drizzle the loaves with olive oil and sprinkle with crushed sea salt.
Lightly press the tomato slices into the dough and bake for 20 minutes, sprinkling fresh basil leaves over after baking. For the second focaccia, sprinkle with cheese and sliced red onion and bake for 20 minutes.
When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve hot or warm.
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