Temperatures finally took a dip and the 90 degree heat I think is finally over. I know, I know, when winter drags on, we’re all going to be welcoming these warmer than normal days. I guess that’s why we have seasons to fully appreciate each one as they come and to be grateful!
With October well underway, hearty and healthy meal recipes seem to be popping up everywhere from newsfeeds to magazine covers. Who doesn’t love this time of year? The smell of leaves, campfires, apples, apple crisp to all things pumpkin.
This was my first, and certainly not my last time making focaccia Bread. I plan on making a gluten-free/dairy-free version sometime soon. This one is all for my husband to enjoy. Some may be wondering ‘what is Focaccia?’ With a crisp outer layer and a soft inside this bread is perfect for sandwiches, soups, stews you name it. It is a flat bread made with olive oil, originally from the town of Genoa, Italy. Due to the ease of making, and the versatility it’s no wonder this bread is one of the most popular breads worldwide.
This bread is the kind of bread you can make on a Saturday or Sunday morning and have fun adding different kinds of toppings. It is also a great bread to make with kids because you need to “knead” help to poke the bread! I’ll talk more about that in just a bit.
Using a regular old cookie sheet (with sides) lightly spray some cooking oil and place parchment paper on top of it inside the pan, the oil prevents the parchment paper from sliding around the pan. Once you have combined the bread flour, and all-purpose flour with the activated yeast it needs to be evenly mixed. You should use a mixer to combine the ingredients, but my husband hand mixed it (and I really mean hand mixed…like he really mixed it with his hand) for me because I didn’t want to have to take out my big mixer only to use it for like 3 minutes to wash every little part. But I would say if you have a mixer you may want to use it making sure everything is properly and thoroughly mixed.
The key here when you are mixing it to make sure the ball of dough is not sticky to the touch and if it is to slowly mix some more. Then you want to take the dough out of the bowl, or ‘to turn the dough out’ onto the already prepared parchment lined sheet and drizzle with olive oil, and cover the dough with either a bowl or a towel for 2 hours until the dough basically doubles in size.
After the dough has raised, with olive oiled fingers you will gently press out the dough on the parchment paper, flattening it from corner to corner. You are going to want to make as many dimples or indentations as you can, here is where the help from your ‘littles’ is needed poking the dough and then cover it again for about 45 minutes.
As you allow the dough to finish rising, prepare your toppings. I decided on fresh rosemary since I have quite a bit from my herb garden, onions, oven roasted grape tomatoes, and a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese…again can you tell I made this for my husband???
In Italy, when they make focaccia, the trick is to add a few splashes of saltwater to the dough. So after the bread is done rising, and before the toppings splash a little cool salt water with your finger tips (make sure not to over wet the bread), then add your desired toppings and generously drizzle the entire flattened dough with more olive oil. The Focaccia is going to bake until it puffs up and has a golden crust (not brown) for about 20-25 minutes. I actually had my focaccia in closer to 30 minutes, but I kept an eye on it. Once I removed the bread, I sprinkled with a bit of sea salt flakes before serving.
I hope you all enjoy!
3 ½ cups of bread flour
1 Cup of All-Purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ ounce paket of instant yeast
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, (and more for drizzling)
1 teaspoon Sugar
¾- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Rosemary
Plus, any additional toppings
- Line sheet with parchment paper.
- In one bowl mix 1 1/2 cups of water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Don’t mix. Wait about 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
- Combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour salt, rosemary in a large bowl. Add the oil. You can either mix by hand or use a hand mixer or a larger mixer to combine the ingredients. Knead out the dough on medium speed until ot forms a ball that is not overly sticky. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Take out the dough or ‘turn the dough out’ on the lined parchment paper tray, drizzle with more olive oil and cover with a bowl or clean kitchen towel. The dough will double in size and this should take about 2 hours.
- Using oiled fingers, press or indent the dough dimpling it all over the bread. Once you have made enough cover the dough again to allow it to finish rising for about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Mix in a small kitchen bowel salt and water . 1 tsp or so of salt to about a cup of cool water. Mix the salt in the water and sprinkle/Splash the Focaccia but don’t soak. Then add your sliced onions or toppings of choice. Add more olive oil and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s puffed and golden brown. Drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.