Olive Focaccia

I have to be honest I'm a kinda always-excited-about-food girl. 

Like right now I'm thinking about gochujang, the Korean chilli paste. I'm thinking of crispy fried chicken wings coated in a sweet, spicy and sticky sauce and a sprinkled generously with toasted sesame seeds. Oh that crunch when you sink your teeth into tender chicken and all that bangin' sauce dripping down your chin. I love that. And I'm thinking of a spicy carrot and red cabbage slaw with kimchi and gochujang and honey and spring onions and also crispy pan fried tofu coated in a gochujang sauce. Oh and maybe a sweet and tangy creamy mayo dressing along with that. Or maybe make a gochujang cheese bread loaf perfect with a slathering with salted butter or funky orange coloured gochujang brioche buns to use for burgers later. Yum. 

Oh and I'm thinking about homemade applesauce and date syrup to use for making muffins and cakes and granola and granola bars. And some Vietnamese chicken pho loaded on top with beansprouts and corriander and the ginger-garlic bone broth. And the slippery slurp of noodles and hot, fragrant soup. Okay my mouth is watering right now. I'm hungry ha. 

Oh and these olives. I got a jar of these as a gift from Italy and I've been dreaming of ways to use these up ever since. I'm thinking a olive, sundried tomato and breadcrumb topped cod fillets, some homemade tapenade for crackers and sandwiches, delicious pasta, and of course these olive focaccia. The salty and slightly bitter edge of the olives pairs nicely with soft fluffiness of focaccia. And of course the olive oil in the focaccia dough make olives a natural pairing and such a nice combination with focaccia. Focaccia is so incredibly easy to make and I love a slice in the morning with my cup of milo. And I eat it just like that, tearing away chunks of the fluffy clouds and salty olives and popping them in my mouth while I flip the morning paper. I love mornings like these. If you prefer not to use olives, try some sundried tomatoes, caramelised onions or rosemary. Or really just sea salt and olive oil. Whichever combination you choose, I promise these will be delicious. 

Happy baking y'all! 

Olive Focaccia 
Recipe adapted from The Italian Baker 

Makes enough for 3 9 or 19 inch round focacce

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast 
615-630g room temperature water 
30g olive oil 
1kg all purpose flour, or 500g each all purpose and bread flour 
1 tbsp fine sea salt 

225g black Ligurian olives
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all the ingredients, knead on low speed 1-2 minutes and medium speed for another 3 minutes till the dough becomes velvety and elastic (about 8-10 min by hand). 
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise till doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. 
Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a thick disc about the diameter of the baking pan. Place in the oiled pan, and let rise, covered for 30 minutes. 
Dimple the dough vigorously with your fingertips, leaving about 1/2 inch deep indentations. Cover and let rise till doubled, about 2 hours. 
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 
Pit the olives and push them into the dimpled doughs. Brush with the olive oil. Bake 20-25 mintues, spraying with water 3 times in the first 10 minutes. Eat warm, do not refrigerate as the flavour will deteriorate. 

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