It always amazes me how flour mixed with a combination of either egg, water or yeast can yield so many varied results. In Italian cooking, flour is perhaps the most important and prized of all the ingredients. Add egg and you have a myriad of options for pasta; add yeast and you have pizza dough; add water and yeast and you have pane di casa (homemade bread).
This is why there is a never-ending supply of Tipo 00 flour in our house. This Italian flour has a finer grain than commercial plain flours which results in airy, light bread, and soft, delicate pasta. It can be bought at almost any supermarket these days so it always pays to have some on hand when the pasta, pizza or bread bug hits.
I had been thinking about making focaccia for some time (indeed it has been sitting on the insanely long Evernote list of recipe ideas for months) but I just hadn’t gotten around to it. The excuse I needed came when I was asked by Russell Hobbs to try out their new Colour Control Multi Food Processor. I knew that if I was going to really test it, then I was going to make dough in it. No grating or shredding here, just a good old honest dough test.
When I unpacked the food processor, I was rather taken aback by how compact and light it was. But that really is the key to its appeal – its compact size. I have a very large, very exxy one that I do love, but it is a pain when you only need to do some thing quick. Also, the Colour Control feature means that it lights up different colours to tell you what speed you are on (you have the choice of 3 speeds and a pulse function) so you are always in control.
I expected it to be much bigger, so I was honestly unsure if it would fit the amount of ingredients I needed it to in order to make the dough. Also, the plastic dough blade had me wondering if it could handle what I was about to put it through. But I was proceeding nonetheless, so let’s see what it could do.
I inserted the dough attachment and filled it full of flour, water, yeast and oil and then blended and pulsed for just a minute, and sure enough a lovely ball of well needed dough popped out. I’m sure if the food processor had a tongue it would have poked it out at me berating me for the lack of faith I had in it.
It is perfect for someone with a small kitchen who needs something light and compact that packs a powerful punch. Certainly, this beauty has been used a number of times since in place of my larger one because it really is much more manageable to use, clean and put away, and it delivers great results.
Roast Garlic and Olive Focaccia
- 1 garlic bulb
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup white spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 9 sicilian olives - pitted (I used almond stuffed olives)
- Rosemary sprigs
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
Preheat oven to 180° Celsius.
Place garlic bulb on a baking tray and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake till soft and golden (about 15-20minutes) then remove and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, mix yeast and warm water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes until foamy.
Place both flours and salt and in the bowl of your food processor with the dough attachment (if using the Russell Hobbs Colour Control Multi Food Processor, this is the small attachment with short flat plastic blades) and pulse 2 times until combined. Then add yeast, water and 2 tablespoons olive oil and process on low speed for 15-20 seconds till the dough starts coming together, then pulse for another 40 seconds until the dough forms a rough ball in the bowl.
Remove dough from the processor, place in a well oiled bowl and set aside in a warm place, covered with a tea towel till the dough has doubled in size (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).
Spray a large non-stick baking dish liberally olive oil and then transfer the dough to the baking dish. Using your fingers, flatten out the dough and ensure it is evenly distributed into the edges. Then using your thumbs, make regular indentations in the dough (the indentations can go right down to the base of the baking dish as it will rise again for the next 30 minutes). Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for another 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°, remove the roasted garlic cloves from the bulb and half, chop the olives in half width-ways and prepare tiny sprigs of rosemary.
After the dough has rested, place an olive in every alternate indentation, and place a piece of garlic and a tiny sprig of rosemary in the others. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over the top, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 20 to 25 minutes till it is golden brown on top.
Leave to cool in the pan then remove, slice and enjoy!
Chew Town was not paid to develop this recipe, but was gifted a Russell Hobbs Colour Control Food Processor to review, with thanks. If you would like to learn more about the Russell Hobbs Colour Control range, sign up to their newsletter here, or visit the Russell Hobbs Website. To read Chew Town’s disclosure policy please visit the About page.