I wanted to make a nice two person bread to serve with a cheese plate for a romantic Saturday night dinner. This came out. It is never easy to explain how to make bread, a lot is in the touch of your hand, you need to feel it. But give it a go, it's an extremely soft and aromatic bread. —Janneke Verheij
Start with putting the yeast and sugar in 150 ml luke warm water, set it aside until the yeast tries to crawl out of your cup, about 5 to 10 minutes. In a wide bowl mix the flour, salt and rosemary. Make a well in the middle and enter two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the yeast mixture in the well too and start stirring carefully with a wooden spoon, constantly nibbling some flour from the sides of the well with your spoon. When you can’t handle it with the spoon any more, change to working with your hands.
Knead in all your energy, aggression and love; knead, push and flip it over until the dough is soft, elastic and still a little bit sticky about 5 to 10 minutes. If it is so sticky you can’t get it from your hands, add some flour, is it to dry, add some water. Note that it is always easier to add some extra flour than extra water. Now cover the dough in some olive oil, put it back into the bowl and cover the bowl with a damp cloth. Try to find a nice and warm spot in the house to let it rise for about one hour or until doubled in size.
Take the dough out of the bowl and punch the air out of it; fold it a couple of times but make sure the seams will be at the bottom of your bread, this shouldn’t take more than 2 or 3 minutes. You can make it in any shape you like, just make sure it’s not too high, say about two centimeters. Brush a baking tray with oil and put the bread on it. Cover it with the damp cloth and let it rise again until doubled in size. In this second rise you can go back to it twice to push the dough down a bit with the tips of your fingers. This will give it the holes which also add to the focaccia look. This rise is very important; the air that forms in this rise will stay in the bread and make the bread soft.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Drizzle some olive oil on the bread; it will find its way into the holes. Now put the bread in the oven, be very gentle, and don’t slam the oven door on it. After 5 minutes turn the heat to 190C and bake until golden brown, for about 15 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, wait a little until you take it from the tray, it can stick, but will be easily removed when cooled down a bit. Let it cool down further on a rack.