Fantastic Focaccia

Happy Summer, ya’ll!! They say the third time is a charm and I most certainly agree, especially when it comes to homemade focaccia bread! I made a loaf last night to go with a sweet and savory farmer’s style ragú I served over penne with pesto, and it was my best loaf yet; oily yet light with lots of air pockets, a crusty bottom and a salty top! I’ve tried this recipe with herbs and without as well as with whole wheat flour vs. all purpose. You can definitely get creative but what follows is a basic recipe for focaccia to die for. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp active yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 5 cups all purpose flour, plus extra
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, plus extra
  • 1 cup good olive oil, plus extra

Directions:

  1. Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in a bowl and give it a quick whisk. Set aside and let stand at lest 15 minutes until yeast is frothy and aromatic.
  2. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour, salt and 1/2 cup olive oil while mixing at low speed. Add the yeast mixture and continue to mix until dough comes together and becomes smooth (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle with additional flour if dough is too sticky.
  3. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead a few times before returning it to a large bowl coated with olive oil. Cover and place in a warm spot for approximately one hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  4. Coat a jelly roll pan with 1/2 cup olive oil (yes, I know that’s a lot but trust!!) and turn dough onto the pan. Press and stretch out the dough to fit the pan. Use your fingers to dent and poke holes in the dough, giving it the proper craggy texture.
  5. Place the pan in a warm place and let the dough rise a second time (about one more hour), then reheat oven to 425.
  6. Drizzle dough with additional olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of kosher salt. Bake 25 – 30 minutes until focaccia is golden and your kitchen smells like an Italian eatery! Let cool enough to touch, transfer to a cutting board, slice and serve warm.

Comments:

  • If you care to dress up your focaccia, you can either add dried herbs to the flour mixture or top the dough with a sprinkle prior to baking. Approximately one tablespoon of desired herb (like rosemary) should do the trick!

 

*Original recipe adapted from Anne Burrell

 

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