Focaccia


FocacciaA whole day off… that means bread time!  I didn’t feel like making a regular loaf of bread, so I made focaccia instead.   This is one recipe that I definitely recommend using good olive oil for.  As far as the toppings go… make your favorite combo, clean out the fridge, use colorful ingredients to be festive… have fun with it!

Ingredients

2.25 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet or 1/4 oz)
1 tsp honey
1 3/4 cups warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 tbsp olive oil (use good quality extra virgin)
1 tsp sea salt + a pinch of sea salt or flake salt to sprinkle on top

Topping ideas:
rosemary + thinly sliced onions (pictured)
sun dried tomatoes + olives + feta
thinly sliced tomatoes + mozarella + basil (put basil after its baked)
thinly sliced lemon + thyme
your favorite combos…

Directions

1. Mix the yeast, honey, and warm water in a medium bowl. Cover and leave this in a warm place for 5 mins, or until it looks foamy.

2. To make the dough:

In a stand mixer:  Put the yeast mix, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt in the stand mixer bowl.  Use the dough hook on low for ~5 mins to make the dough. This is a soft and sticky dough, so it will not actually form a ball.

By hand:  Add the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt to the yeast mix.  Use a wooden spoon or very strong spatula to mix until a dough forms.  This is a soft and sticky dough, so I don’t knead it on a floured surface.  Instead, use the wooden spoon/spatula/your hand to “knead” it in the bowl.

3.  Put 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large bowl.  Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl then turn it so that all of the dough is covered in oil.  Cover and keep in a warm place for ~2 hours to rise (it should double in size).

4.  Use 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch cake pans or square baking dishes (I often use my Le Creuset skillet).  Punch down the dough.  Cut the dough in half and place each half in a cake pan/baking dish.  You may need to use your fingers to gently stretch the dough until it touches the edges.  Use your fingers or a pastry brush to cover the top with the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 mins.

5.  Use your fingers to very gently poke the top (to give it a dimpled look).  Gently place your toppings on top.  Sprinkle on a pinch of salt.  Let it rise for an additional 20 mins.

6.   Bake at 400 F for 5 mins, then turn the heat down to 375 and bake for 20-25 mins until the top is golden brown.  Let cool 5 mins in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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