For the biga
150g strong white bread flour
2g active dried yeast
30mL olive oil
120mL room temperature water
In a mixing bowl bring together all of the ingredients for the biga and mix by hand for about five minutes. Cover the dough and place in the fridge for 8-12 hours
This slow fermentation builds up delicious flavour compounds and allows the yeast to build in strength.
Now for the focaccia dough -
230mL warm water (around 40ºc)
300g strong white bread flour
3g active dried yeast
40mL olive oil
Extra oil for your hands and drizzling
Good handful of fresh wild garlic leaves
In a large mixing bowl, combine the biga and the water and mix for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining focaccia ingredients and bring the dough together. Knead for five minutes until it starts to feel elastic. The dough should be soft, loose and sticky. You may find it easier to keep the dough in the bowl to knead it. With oiled hands fold the outside edges of the dough into the centre and flip it over in the bowl, then cover the whole exposed surface with the olive oil.
Cover and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Now you want to begin a series of folds; carefully lifting and pulling the dough from each corner into the middle, trapping in the air and building the structure. Ideally this is repeated four or five times throughout the proving time, or you can just leave your dough to prove at room temperature for a total of about two hours.
Heavily oil a roasting tray or line a large baking tray with silicone paper.
Once again, fold the dough over in the bowl, bringing the outside edges over. Lift the dough out carefully and place it into the tray. Leave for ten minutes.
Brush olive oil over the whole surface of the loaf, then push your fingers into the dough to create dimples on the surface. Be bold, but take care not to tear or stretch the dough out too much. Push out to fill the whole tray.
Roughly chop some of the wild garlic leaves and sprinkle over the top of the loaf. Push the leaves into the dough. Sprinkle with the sea salt and leave for about forty minutes to an hour, until beautifully risen. Finely slice the remaining garlic and combine with a little olive oil, keep to one side.
Place into a preheated oven at 220ºc. Bake for ten minutes, then rotate the tray and bake for another ten minutes. Turn the oven down to 200ºc and bake for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining wild garlic and olive oil.
Allow to rest for 15 minutes and serve slightly warm.