This herby Focaccia can be plain and simple and does not need to be topped with lots of stuff. It is rich with olive oil (which keeps it extra moist), topped with fragrant rosemary and coarse salt. However, this recipe leaves so much room for experimentation, and you may allow for more additions besides the sea salt, olive oil and herbs. I’ve been making so much focaccia at home recently that I’ve quickly found out the sky’s the limit.
This Focaccia is nice pillowy inside and a little crunchy on the outside. It is best served warm, just from the oven, either on its own as a pre-dinner nibble or as the bread to accompany the main meal. It is terrific with pasta. Also suitable for sandwiches and to make cheese-stuffed bread.
It is easy to mix and knead in a bread machine, then shaped by hand and baked in a conventional oven. But don’t feel left out if you don’t have a bread machine. This flavourful focaccia can easily be made by hand or with a stand mixer or food processor. See the recipe notes for details.
- 1 1/2 cups Water - 27-32º C/80-90ºF
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Garlic - minced or 1/2 tsp powder
- 3 1/2 cups All-purpose flour - or bread flour
- 1 tbsp Rosemary - dried or Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Instant dry yeast
Toppings (see extra options)
- Olive oil
- Oregano - driedand/or Italian seasoning
- Salt - coarse
- Parmesan cheese - grated - optional
Preparing the dough
- Add ingredients to bread machine in order given.
- Select the “Dough” setting. Press “Start/Stop”.
- Check the consistency of the dough ball during the kneading cycle. You want all the dough to mix into a ball without being too dry or too sticky. - If it is too dry, add lukewarm (27-32°C/80-90°F) liquid a teaspoon at a time until it looks right. - If it looks too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it looks right. - If there is flour on the pan's sides, use a silicone spatula to wipe the flour from the pan.
- When the machine signals (after 1 hour and 30 minutes), the dough is finished. Press “Start/Stop”. And unplug.
- Transfer to a well-floured work surface. I use Parchment Paper.
Fold the dough
- Be sure the work surface is cleaned off before kneading the dough. Prepare a parchment paper (or a lightly floured board). Gather the dough at the center of the baking pan. Remove the dough carefully by raising it gently and place it on the board. If the kneading blade remains in the bottom of the dough, remove the blade.
- Divide the dough into two balls and fold the dough according to instructions:
- Pat dough into a rectangle
- The first fold
- The second fold
- The third Fold
- The fourth Fold
- You should now have a thick,square-ish piece of dough.
Let the dough rest...
- Resting allows the gluten to relax and makes handling easier.
...In the refrigerator for 12-24 hours
- When the dough rises slowly in the refrigerator, it will result in a slow rise, which will retard the yeast and enhance flavour and texture. It is even better if you make it a day before.
- Add about 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to a ziplock bag (freezer bag), put the dough inside, squeeze out the excess air, seal it, and let it rise rises slowly in the refrigerator for 12-24hours.
- No need to warm the dough before using it but allow it to return to room temperature, about 20 minutes, before stretching it and proceeding with the recipe.
...In the freezer for more extended periods
- If you are using frozen dough, let it defrost in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. When you are ready to bake, take it out of the refrigerator and allow it to return to room temperature for about 20 minutes before stretching it in the pan.
...At room temperature for about 30 minutes
- If you do not have time, add about1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to a large bowl, cover with a plastic wrap or a towel, place it in a warm place to double in bulk and let it rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Put the dough into the pan
- Generously oil a baking sheet and rub it over the bottom and sides. I use parchment paper. Punch down the dough and place the dough on the baking sheet.
- Using your fingertips, stretch the dough to flatten it and cover the bottom of the pan; it may not reach all the way to the edges.
- Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rest for about 60 minutes or until it almost doubles in size.
- While the dough is rising, select the topping and prepare
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.
- When the focaccias have puffed up in the pan a little, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over it.
- Then, sprinkle the dried herbs of your choice, cheese, and the flaky salt evenly over the surface.
- Using your fingertips (or the rounded back of a wooden spoon), poke random holes (dimple/shallow indentations) all over the surface of the dough.
- Add any desired toppings before baking (see notes with suggested options).
- Place in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, checking and turning the pan around after about 15 minutes. The focaccia is ready when itis golden-brown.
- Remove from oven, and using a hot pad or spatula, remove the focaccia from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to let it cool slightly for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- The Focaccia is best eaten when warm but perfectly fine at room temperature. If the crust gets too soft, try popping it back in a 175°C/350°F oven for a few minutes to crisp it up.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut wedges just like you would cut a pizza.
- Garlic (minced or coarsely chopped)
- Sundried tomatoes (see recipes: Slow-Roasted Tomato Fast2eat or Homemade oven-dried tomatoes Fast2eat)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Olives (black or green with garlic filling – sliced or chopped, pitted and drained)
- Onion (thinly sliced or shallots)
- Feta cheese (crumbled)
- Sesame seeds (or everything bagel seasoning)
- Pancetta (cubed)
- Lemon (very thinly sliced)
- Fresh herbs (sprigs of Rosemary or thyme, or chives, or oregano)
- Pesto sauce
- If you want to use fresh basil, sprinkle it on after baking.
It’s always a good idea to open the bread machine’s lid during the second kneading cycle (after about 10 minutes) and check the consistency of the dough ball. The dough is “just right” when it is a smooth round ball in appearance, soft to the touch, leaves a slight residue on your finger, and the bottom of the bread pan is clean of dough residue.
- If it’s too dry, add lukewarm liquid a teaspoon at a time until it looks right.
- If it looks too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it looks right.
- If there is flour on the sides of the pan, use a Silicone Spatula to wipe the flour from the pan.
Making without a bread machineIn a food processor: Place the flour, salt, and yeast in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse to combine. Add the water and the olive oil. Pulse until a rough ball of dough forms, about 1 minute or about 15 (2-second) pulses. Remove the dough from the food processor. It should be moist but not too sticky. In a Mixer: Place the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Combine and add the water and the olive oil. Turn on low to mix and knead the dough until all ingredients are moistened. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe. By Hand: combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a sturdy spoon until it is as smooth as possible. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
StorageThe focaccia is best the day it is made. I would recommend eating immediately after baking since the crisp was lost after just a few hours. However, it can be stored, well-wrapped, at room temperature for up to 1 day. The crust will soften, but it can be warmed and crisped in a 175°C/350°F oven for a few minutes. Leftover focaccia also freezes exceptionally well. Let it defrost at room temperature, and then reheat in a 175°C/350°F oven for a few minutes. Never store it in the refrigerator.
- Everything You Need to Know to Start Baking Awesome Bread Using a Bread Maker
- Fast2eat Foolproof (Bread maker) Bread Recipes
* “Long-term dietary intake of gluten was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease. However, the avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which may affect cardiovascular risk. The promotion of gluten-free diets among people without celiac disease should not be encouraged.” (Source: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1892)
* Content and images based on Sunbeam CKSBBR9050-033 Bread Maker User Manual Retrieved from https://www.sunbeam.ca/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-sunbeam-ca-Library/default/dw500b4350/documents/instruction-manuals/CKSBBR9050-033.pdf
- Bread machine
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Ziplock (freezer) bags
- 2 Baking pan 9"x 9" (23cm x 23cm) or one 9”x 13” (23cm x 33cm) + one 9”x 5” (23cm x 13cm) or similar size pizza pan for a round option
- Wire cooling rack
- Pizza Cutter
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