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    Caprese sandwich with homemade focaccia

    Make the focaccia

    A firm favourite at Inglis Hall. Focaccia is soft and pillowy in the middle, crisp and golden around the edges, and filled with rich flavour from olive oil and sea salt.

    You’ll need
    • 400ml of warm water
    • 2 teaspoons of cane sugar
    • 2.5 teaspoons of active dry yeast
    • 500 grams of all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
    • 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil plus more for your hands
    • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
    • Handful of fresh rosemary sprigs

    Start by proofing the yeast. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the water and sugar. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes, or until foamy. If the yeast doesn’t foam, discard the mixture and start again with new yeast.

    When the yeast is foamy, add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Then, increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes. The dough will become very sticky and elastic. It will begin grabbing the sides of the bowl.

    Brush a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Use a spatula to transfer the dough from the bowl of the stand mixer to the oiled bowl. It will be too sticky to transfer by hand.

    Use your fingers to brush any oil that’s pooling around the edges of the dough over its surface. Cover with cling film or a damp towel and set aside to rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

    Next, shape the focaccia. Brush a 9×13-inch non stick pan with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

    Uncover the dough and rub your hands with olive oil. Slide your hand under one edge of the dough and fold it into the centre of the bowl. Continue working your way around the edge of the bowl, folding the dough into itself, until you have a rough ball that you can lift from the bowl.

    Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and turn to coat it in the oil. Press the dough to the pan’s edges.

    Let the dough rise for a second (shorter) time. Cover the pan and set it aside for 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size. 30 minutes into this rise, preheat the oven to 200c. 

    Dimple the dough. Uncover the focaccia and drizzle 2 more tablespoons of oil on top of the dough. Rub your hands with olive oil and use your fingers to make indentations across the surface of the dough. You don’t have to be gentle here! Press all the way through the dough to the pan. Some air bubbles should pop up in the process. That’s good! They brown beautifully in the oven.

    Finally, top and bake. Add flaky sea salt and rosemary and bake until the focaccia is golden brown, 20 minutes to 30 minutes.

    Caprese sandwich

    You’ll need
    • Freshly made focaccia
    • Mozzarella
    • Garden tomatoes
    • Basil pesto (homemade or shop bought)
    • Fresh basil leaves
    • Handful of fresh baby leaves of your choice
    • Good quality olive oil
    • Balsamic vinegar (optional)
    Handful of rosemary sprigs

    Caprese sandwich - a classic Italian sandwich made with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil. To make the sandwich extra special, add pesto, rocket, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The perfect summer sandwich when tomatoes are in season. You can’t beat a ripe, juicy tomato right from the vine.

    A caprese sandwich always hits the spot on a hot summer day and the flavours are so fresh.

    Start with the fresh focaccia, cutting two good sized wedges. Optional: rub one side of each wedge with olive oil and toast lightly on a griddle for a couple of minutes.

    Smother the focaccia with a dollop of fresh basil pesto on one side of each wedge.

    Then layer it up with goodies. Fresh mozzarella and garden tomatoes thickly sliced, basil leaves, a few baby leaves or rocket and finish with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

    Season with salt and pepper.