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30th November 2014

Hard work? There’s just no knead

Food & Drink Co-Editor Ellie Gibbs shares a recipe for easy focaccia

Another article, another bread recipe. Inspired by a blog favourite of mine, Budget Bytes, I prepared this unbelievably easy focaccia in time for a dinner party turned booze-up at a fellow food enthusiast’s apartment. The guests were impressed. I felt almost embarrassed to take compliments for something that was so simple to make, but not so embarrassed that I didn’t glowingly reply “it was nothing.” (It really was.)


– 120g wholewheat bread flour

– 360g white bread flour

– 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

– 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

– 480ml water

– 3 tablespoons olive oil (the better the quality, the better the bread)

– Sprinkling of herbs—salt & rosemary is a classic combination, or basil and garlic


Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir. Add the water and stir gently with a spoon until the mixture is combined and in a sticky ball. Cover loosely with a tea towel and let sit overnight/about 14 hours.

Around 2 hours before needing the dough to be ready, prepare a tin with oiled greaseproof paper or foil and pour the dough onto the sheet. Stretch to the edges of the tin and let sit for another hour. Poke dimples in the dough and drizzle with extra olive oil, don’t worry about adding too much. Sprinkle with extra herbs and salt.

With the oven preheated to 200°C, place a sheet of foil over the mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until brown.

Wait until cooled to slice or enjoy hot.

If you’re worried about cooking times or leaving the dough for too long, you can always mix the dry ingredients before you go to bed and add the water when you get up in the morning. Minimum time and effort involved, and lovely risen dough for when you get home.

Prep time: Around 16 hours (the majority of which you will be sleeping for)
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Oven time: 40 minutes

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