Recently, I’ve been getting into Avocados in a huge way. Despite what all of those annoyingly toned and smug healthy-eating lot say, they’re really not that good for you And you know what corresponds with not being good for you? Tasting really, really good. Especially with things like cheese. And carbs. And lashings of oil and salt. If you take those things and combine them, you have this recipe. If you’re off to a dinner party or even fancy bringing something into work to wow your colleagues, this is one for such a purpose. This is the sort of bread you’d see for sale in an edgy, hipster café for about £6 a slice with a dodgy little rocket side-salad and balsamic glaze, on the premise that it’s somehow good for you. It’s lying to you. It’s not good for you. That is what baking is about. But it may well be the best-tasting bread I’ve ever had. Just make sure you use plenty of oil. And the best salt you can find. Lots of it.
First, place all the ingredients for the focaccia into a bowl – that’s the flour, yeast, salt, water and oil. Mix these together with a wooden spoon until they form a wet, batter-like dough. Once the dough is together (don’t worry, it’s supposed to be that sticky), cover the bowl in cling film and leave it for 2 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 8. Prepare a baking tray by drizzling it with loads of oil (don’t use extra virgin or it will burn). Turn your dough out onto it. Using oiled hands, flatten it out slightly then fold your dough in half like you’re closing an open book. Finally, press it down so it spreads all the way to the edge of the baking tray.
Leave your dough to rise for another 30 minutes or so. Meanwhile, chop up your red peppers and lay these on top. Add some more oil on top again, for good measure.
Once 30 minutes has gone, press your dough again to make sure it is right to the edge of the tray, and then place it in the oven. You want to bake it for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and the peppers are just starting to catch. Then, remove it from the oven to cool on the tray.
Whilst that’s cooling, you can peel and chop your ripe avocado into thin slices and then sprinkle these on top. Crumble your feta on top liberally, then drown the whole thing in extra virgin olive oil, loads of sea salt and plenty black pepper. Enjoy warm, but it will also keep for at least a day or two at room temperature. If keeping for a dinner party, add the avocado last to stop it turning black.
- I find with this bread that the thinner you make it, the better it is, because the topping to bread ratio is increased. So for a truly indulgent bake, try this recipe split over two trays, with double the amount of toppings I suggest.
- This dough is wet. Don’t worry, it’ll come together if you just give it a little time. I promise. There is no need to knead.