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Cotto's Focaccia

Cotto's Focaccia

Our new(ish) team member Michael hails from Cotto on Auckland's iconic Karangahape Road, inspiring us to enjoy a team dinner there that was an absolute delight. There were two stand-out dishes, the Spinach & Feta Dumplings (try them you won't be disappointed) and their Focaccia, which Michael's kindly let us know is on Cotto's Instagram stories (well worth a watch) and Cotto have agreed we can share with you all here to try and enjoy.

NB: Please note, this recipe can be made in one large batch Cotto-style Half-sheet pan or a one for me one for you/ later style two Quarter Sheet pans (as above). There's a bit of prep involved with the starter, so if you don't already have one, you'll need to allow some time to get one going before your first bake.


800g Bread Flour (High-Grade)
640g Water
16g Salt
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (+ more for the dish/ top)
200g Sourdough Starter (see the recipe/ method here)
Fennel Seeds
Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Flaked Sea Salt


Measure your flour into a bowl and pour in the 640g of water, roughly mix together until there are no lumps (this is called a 'shaggy mix') leave this to sit for 45mins.

Add the salt and 2 Tbsp of Olive oil, then the Sourdough starter and fold it in roughly, then stretch and fold for about 15seconds "about 4 folds, like wrapping a parcel". Do this once on the hour for the next four hours, covering with a tea-towel in-between 'stretching and folding'. When you've completed your stretching and folding leave for an hour covered with a tea-towel, then cover with cling-wrap and place in the fridge over-night. Tomorrow we bake.

Remove your mix from the fridge and moisten your bench (with water), then empty your mix onto the bench and fold the mix-out to stretch it a bit. Into a half sheet pan sprinkle your fennel seeds, add lashings of Olive Oil and spread it around your tray with your Fennel Seeds, then lift the focaccia mix over, gently stretching it to the sides. It will resist the stretch but leave it there for about 1/2 an hour and it will relax in to the tray's size.

Sprinkle over your chopped fresh Rosemary, plenty of flaked Sea Salt and lashings of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Dimple the mixture, creating pools for the oil, and pre-heat your oven to 230C while your mixture rests. After 10minutes of resting your focaccia can go in to your oven, it's ready in 15-20mins.

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