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In another lifetime, I taught Italian cookery to adults, and one of our most popular sessions was the focaccia bread session. A really quick and easy but most satisfying of breads.


  • 460g strong bread flour (plain will work)
  • 280 to 300ml warm water (start with less)
  • 32 x 5ml instant acting dried yeast or 25g fresh yeast
  • 50g sun dried tomatoes or topping of your choice
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 3 x 5ml (3 x 2 tsps) olive oil (plus a little extra)
  • 1 x 5ml (1 tsp) coarse sea salt
  • 1 x 5ml (1 tsp) rosemary
  • Maggie’s Original Chilli Sauce


    1. Mix dried yeast with the flour, about 250ml of water, sugar and olive oil. Knead until dough has a springy consistency. 2-3 minutes by hand or 1 minute in a food processor. Add more water if required.
    2. Roll the dough into a ball and cover with olive oil, put in a large bowl and cover with a damp tea towel.
    3. Leave the dough to rise for about 30 minutes to 1 hour until roughly doubled in size.
    4. Then knock back the risen dough with your hand and knead for another 35 seconds to 1 min.
    5. On a lightly greased baking sheet, spread dough out to a flat, thin rectangle either by hand or with rolling pin. Make indents all over the bread with fingertips.
    6. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, rosemary and chopped sun dried tomatoes.
    7. At this stage you could also hand paint on some ‘hotspots’ using Maggie’s Original Chilli Sauce (pictured above).
    8. Leave to prove for another 30 mins then bake in hot oven 400 F/200 C/190 C fan/Gas mark 6-7 for about 15-20 mins until golden brown.

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