There is something about baking bread that makes me SO happy. I realize that it is a task that not a lot of people love doing, but something about the kneading and rolling is the best stress relief. Plus, is there anything better than the smell of fresh baked bread? I don’t think so.
I was actually about 75% sure that this wasn’t going to work out. I mean, I’m certainly no expert in baking bread, and I’d never made focaccia before. Plus I didn’t really like the instructions on the recipe I was using, so I had to piece together a bunch of the reviews. But, oh man, did it exceed my expectations. I would go as far as saying that this could be the best focaccia I’ve ever had. Given, I’ve never been to Italy, and I’m sure that there are only a handful of times I’ve even eaten focaccia, but you guys, it was SO GOOD.
This is one of those recipes that literally everyone will be really impressed by and you’ll laugh because you had no idea it was so easy to make but it was and now you can feel like a queen in the kitchen. In my case, a 4 foot long kitchen where you have to use your dryer for counter space – but a queen nonetheless.
I had mine with some Roasted Tomato Soup (recipe later this week!), but this would be amazing with pasta, as an appetizer dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or with any other soup.
Herbed Focaccia Bread:
Adapted from Allrecipes
Makes One Focaccia
1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1 cup very warm Water (100-110 degrees, if you want to be technical)
2 3/4 cup White Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp White Sugar + 1 pinch
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1 pinch Ground Black Pepper
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1-2 tbsp Fresh Herbs (Oregano, Rosemary, Basil)
Sea Salt, to taste
1 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, shredded
1. Combine yeast with 1/3 cup of the warm water and a pinch of sugar and allow to sit for about 10 minutes until foamy and the liquid has almost doubled.
2. Combine flour, salt, sugar, herbs, and black pepper, then add in the yeast/water mixture, the other 2/3 cup of water, and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Stir to combine well.
3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Punch dough down, then roll into a large round circle, about 1/2 an inch in thickness. Using the pads of your thumbs, make indents in the dough liberally. Brush top with other 2 tbsp of olive oil and top with fresh herbs and sea salt. Allow to rise for another 10 minutes.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, stopping halfway through to sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Focaccia should be a light golden colour. Slice and serve warm.
*You will notice that pre-baking, there were sundried tomatoes on my focaccia. They burnt. A lot. So I had to take them off. Next time, I will put them on halfway through baking, with the parmesan cheese.