Focaccia with Peaches, Goats Cheese and Prosciutto: Love Bake Laugh! Silvia Colloca

Love Laugh Bake

Love, Laugh, Bake! By Silvia Colloca, Published by Plum, RRP $39.00, Photography by Rob Palmer

“I have included a recipe for focaccia in most of my books and television shows, and I suppose this goes to show
how much I adore this type of bread. Traditionally, focaccia originated in the coastal town of Genoa, on Italy’s
west coast, where the artisan bakers created a soft dough flavoured with local extra-virgin olive oil. The end
result is a soft and bouncy bread, dotted with holes moist with oil and flavoured with plenty of sea salt. The
dough also contains another ingredient often used in Italian bread making: barley malt syrup. This dark brown,
thick and sticky sweetener can be found in most good delis, but if it is too hard to come by, use honey instead.
(Please note that if you make this substitution, your focaccia will not be suitable for vegans.)” p.110


1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon barley malt syrup
or honey
250 ml (1 cup) lukewarm water
400 g (2²⁄³ cups) 00 or plain flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

Mix the yeast, syrup or honey and water in a large bowl and stand for a few
minutes to froth up.
Add the flour and olive oil and knead for 3–4 minutes, then add the salt and
knead vigorously for a further 5 minutes until smooth and elastic (feel free to
use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook).
Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea
towel and rest for 20 minutes.
Using floured hands, stretch the dough into a rectangle, then fold the top and
bottom thirds into the centre, like folding a letter. Place the folded dough on an
oiled baking tray, cover with a damp tea towel and prove at room temperature
for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size.


There comes a time, towards the end of summer, when peaches are so cheap it is almost a crime not to buy
them in bulk. This is when I find myself preserving them in syrup for winter or making jams. However, the
flavour of this gorgeous fruit is so versatile that it suits savoury dishes as well, and makes a delightful addition
to the universally loved combination of prosciutto and goat’s cheese.  p.116

1 quantity of basic focaccia dough (see above)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
3–4 peaches, quartered, stones removed
150 g goat’s cheese, crumbled
150 g prosciutto, finely sliced

Make and rest the dough as instructed.

Using floured hands, stretch out the dough to cover the baking tray and
sprinkle the surface with salt. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.

Using your fingertips, press down on the dough to create lots of little indents.
Whisk together the olive oil, water and honey, then coat the peach quarters
with the glaze. Tumble the glazed peaches over the focaccia, letting the juices
run into the holes. Sprinkle with some more salt, then cover and rest for a
further 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Bake the focaccia for 15–18 minutes, then scatter over the goat’s cheese.
Bake for a further 5 minutes or until it looks golden and utterly irresistible.
Take the tray out of the oven and top with the prosciutto. Serve hot or warm.
Any leftovers will be delicious cold too, but focaccia is best eaten on the day
it’s made.