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Hein van Tonder
Course Appetizer


  • 500 g white bread flour
  • 10 g sachet dried yeast
  • 10 ml sugar
  • ml salt
  • 300 ml lukewarm water
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 wheel camembert cheese
  • honey for drizzling
  • dukkah for sprinkling


  • Place the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl and make a small well in the middle
  • Slowly pour the water into the well while mixing with a fork
  • Mix until all the ingredients start coming together, and then knead for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth, soft dough that springs back to the touch
  • Lightly oil a large bowl with some olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl
  • Cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 30 minutes until doubled in size
  • Lightly oil a baking tray, punch down the dough and spread the dough out to cover the tray
  • Using your fingers, push down roughly on the dough to make dips and wells
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with some sea salt and fresh thyme
  • Leave to prove in a warm place for 20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
  • Bake the focaccia for 20 minutes until golden on top and cooked through
  • Remove from the baking tray and place on a cooling tray to cool down
  • Once the focaccia is cool enough to handle, place back on the baking tray and preheat the oven to 170 degrees C
  • Carefully slice the focaccia into about 2cm x 2cm bit sized squares making sure not to cut through the bottom crust
  • Use the camembert wheel to cut a circle in the middle of the dough for the camembert to fit into
  • Remove the bread within the circle but leave a bottom of bread crust for the cheese to stand on
  • Turn the camembert on its side and cut the top off and place the wheel in the hole, cut side up
  • Drizzle the focaccia with more olive oil, letting the oil drip between the cut segments
  • Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is melted
  • If the focaccia is browning too much, cover lightly with foil to keep from browning
  • As soon as the focaccia comes out of the oven, drizzle liberally with honey, sprinkle with some dukkah and sea salt and serve immediately