Martha Collison's colourful loaf that works its magic overnight, so you can have beautiful fresh bread in the morning
- Prepare25 mins
- Cook25 mins
- Total time50 mins
Put the flour in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and 2 tsp fine salt to the other, then rub into the flour to combine.
Add 50ml oil and 225ml lukewarm water. Stir the ingredients together using your hands or the dough hook attachment on the mixer, until they start to form a rough dough. Gradually add another 75ml lukewarm water. The dough will be very wet, but this is what creates the irregular holes in a focaccia, so persevere.
Knead for 5-10 minutes with the mixer (or liberally oil your worktop, tip the dough onto it and knead by hand – oiling your hands and the surfaces as necessary – until the dough is elastic). Transfer to an oiled rectangular container, cover and chill in the fridge overnight (for at least 8 hours).
In the morning, allow the dough to come to room temperature. Generously grease a 30x20cm baking tin with oil.
Carefully remove the dough from the container and turn it onto the baking tray. Don’t handle the dough too much. Stretch (don’t knead) it into a large rectangle. Spread it to the tray edges and make indentations on the surface with your fingers. Cover loosely and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. It should look puffy when ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. When the dough rises, make a few more indentations, drizzle with more oil and top with the tomatoes and about 1 tsp of sea salt flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil as soon as it comes out of the oven, then allow to cool on a wire rack.
If overnight is too long to wait, leave your dough to rise at room temperature. Wait until it doubles in size, (2-3 hours).