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Focaccia Bread

Tie up your apron and make yourself a batch of this delicious fresh-baked focaccia bread. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (0.25 oz)
  • 4 cups flour (unbleached white all-purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (stem removed)
  • 1 handful olives
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Sprinkle of course ground salt (to taste)
  • Additional olive oil for drizzling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast to a small bowl, stir, and allow to sit for 10 - 15 minutes.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, and wet yeast mixture, and mix together until a dough forms. 

  3. Flip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (such as a clean countertop), and knead for 5 - 10 minutes. 

  4. Clean out the mixing bowl and coat the bowl lightly with oil. Place the ball of dough into the bowl, flipping to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm area (such as near the stove) for 1.5 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. 

  5. Place the risen dough back onto your lightly floured surface once more and very gently tumble it around to "knock the air out" before shaping the dough and placing it onto an oiled baking pan or baking dish.  

  6. You have a few options for shaping your dough. You can spread the entire mass into a 7" x 11" baking dish (this will produce a thicker and very uniform rectangular focaccia). For a more rustic hand-formed focaccia, you can spread the dough onto a large baking sheet in one big mass or break it into two, three, or four mini-loaves. 

  7. Once shaped on your oiled baking dish or pan, lightly coat the dough with oil, cover with a damp cloth or oiled plastic wrap, and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. 

  8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

  9. Remove the cloth or plastic wrap from the dough and add your toppings. Press the olives, fresh rosemary sprigs, and anything else you'd like to add deep into the dough. Using your finger, stab the rest of the dough to create the classic focaccia indents that will catch the oil. Push your fingers from the top of the dough straight down all the way through to the bottom. Continue across the entire surface until the full loaf is covered with finger indents spaced about an inch (or less) apart. 

  10. In a jar or container with a lid, add the 1/3 cup of olive oil and 1/3 cup of water and shake vigorously until combined. Pour this mixture on top of your dough (it will hang out in the finger indents you just made). 

  11. Bake for 20 minutes until very lightly browned on top. Remove, sprinkle with chunky salt, and enjoy!