This is based on a Paul Hollywood recipe, and is so easy to do. There are never any leftovers in our house when I cook this!
500g strong white bread flour
2 tsp sea salt
1 sachet of quick acting dried yeast (7g)
2 tbsp olive oil
400ml cold water
Extra olive oil for drizzling
Toppings of your choice
In a large bowl, gently combine the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml of the water, using your hands or a wooden spoon, until you have a soft dough.
Next, knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes, while gradually adding the remaining water.
Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, by tucking the sides into the centre, then turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Continue for about five minutes.
Now, tip the dough onto an oiled surface and keep kneading for another five minutes. (Or you can make things even easier by using a mixer with a dough hook for 10 to 15 minutes instead of doing all the hand kneading in steps 2 to 4).
Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a clean tea-towel and leave it to rise until the dough has doubled in size.
Generously oil a large baking tray. Tip the dough out of the bowl and flatten the dough onto the tray, pushing it into the corners. Cover the dough, and leave to prove for one hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7.
Uncover the dough and using your fingertips, make small indentations all over the dough.
Drizzle the dough with oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.
Put it in the oven as it is, or add any other toppings of your choice (see below). Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. When cooked, remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Serve warm or leave to cool.
Use toppings such as herbs, tomatoes, onions, peppers and olives, to create a picture on your dough, before putting it in the oven. The process is relatively simple: just chop the herbs and vegetables and arrange the pieces to make your decoration (I think flowers are the easiest thing to create), before baking the focaccia.