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Strawberry, Basil and Goats Cheese Focaccia Bread: Recipe

Queensland Strawberries Strawberry, Basil and Goats Cheese Foccacia Recipe. Image supplied

Looking for something both sweet and savoury? We’ve got the perfect recipe just for that!

Focaccia bread – a highlight to any late afternoon craving or the perfect addition to any dinner party. This staple, pillowy and just as equally addictive as it sounds has been transformed into a dish featuring an unexpected match: strawberries.

And to help you create this bewitching snack, we’ve sought the help from no other than Australia’s favourite strawberry farm, Queensland Strawberries. Located in the north of the state, thanks to recent growing conditions, Queensland Strawberries is thankfully seeing their first peak with an increase of punnets hitting the shelves.

Apart from their deliciously scrumptious nature, strawberries are the perfect fruit for the colder season as they are jam-packed with a plethora of health benefits, containing approximately 150% of your daily nutritional requirement of Vitamin C.

So forget strawberries and cream or even chocolate-covered ones as Queensland Strawberries’ Strawberry, Basil and Goats Cheese Focaccia Bread recipe will be your favourite sweet yet savoury dish of the day.


Cooking Time: 3 hours and 15 minutes | Difficulty: Medium | Servings: 6-8


INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups lukewarm water
2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cups wholemeal plain flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour (high protein), plus a little extra for kneading
1 ½ tsp salt
10 Queensland Strawberries hulled and halved
Handful of basil leaves, shredded
100g fresh goats cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Pour the water into a large bowl, add the yeast and sugar stirring to dissolve. Once dissolved, add the olive oil followed by the flours and salt then mix with your hands to form a dough. 

2. Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead until the dough is elastic and smooth (adding a little flour as necessary to prevent sticking). Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook; mix on medium-low for 8 minutes until the dough forms around the hook

3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a ball.

4. Lightly oil a large clean bowl and add the dough ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for 1½ to 2 hours, until doubled in size.

5. Punch down the dough. Cover again and rest for a further 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

6. Grease a baking tray with olive oil and line with baking paper. Shape the dough into a rectangle or oval pressing out until about 2 cm thick. 

7. Cover with a slightly damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Just before baking, dimple the dough all over with your fingertips.

8. Gently press the strawberries into the dough and dot over grape-sized pieces of goat’s cheese. Sprinkle with coarse salt, pepper and the basil. Drizzle all over with olive oil (1-2 tablespoons).

9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Rest for 10 minutes before eating or cool completely.

For more information visit the Queensland Strawberries website.

Looking for the sweetest drop to pair with your Strawberry, Basil and Goats Cheese Foccacia? Take your pick at one of our Four Favourite Rosés of 2020. Or, to finish with an even sweeter treat, why not try making this healthy plant-based Strawberry Chocolate Tart?

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