Sunday, March 13, 2011
2 1/2 tsp dried yeast (or 7g sachet)
1 tbspn sugar
450 ml lukewarm water
700 g Italian '00' flour
2 tsp salt
1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
2 large sprigs of rosemary
olives, halved (optional)
cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
Mix the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water and allow the yeast to activate. When the yeast is frothy, it's ready to use.
Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt, olive oil and yeast mixture. Mix to a soft dough, adding more flour or water as required. Knead until the dough is very pliable, which should take about 7-10 minutes by hand.
Leave the dough to rise in a well-oiled bowl covered with cling film until the dough has trebled in size and is springy to the touch, which will take 2-3 hours. This will rise best in a warm, draught-free place, like a hot press or near a cooker or oven.
When it has risen, knock it back and place onto a lightly floured surface. Knead again by hand for 2-3 minutes.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll or press them out until the dough is 1 cm thick. Place the dough onto 2 oiled baking sheets. Flatten the dough and push it into the corners of the sheets, then make indentations on the top of the dough with your fingertips. Drizzle the surface with olive oil, pull the leaves from the rosemary stalks and scatter them, along with the sea salt, on top of the dough. (scatter over the olives and tomatoes if you wish also) Allow the dough to rise again for 30-45 minutes in a warm place.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230 C. (450 F) Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200 C (400 F) and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then loosen from the pan and cut into squares.
(recipe from Catherine Fulvio- 'Catherine's Italian Kitchen')