I wish I’d taken a picture of the full loaf, but this one will have to do. I can’t say enough about this focaccia bread. It. Is. SO. Good.
We had a “make your own salad” bar the other night and this bread was the perfect accompaniment. Probably killed the low-cal point of making salads, but it was totally worth it. It was really pretty easy too, which was a huge plus. I used the recipe I found at The Paupered Chef, except I omitted the extra topping ingredients and just used olive oil and kosher salt. If you want step-by-step photos of the process, check out the original link because they did a great job of documenting the preparation.
I thought I had gone a little overboard with the olive oil drizzling on top, but it turned out great, so I highly recommend not being stingy with the oil. It helps give it a beautiful crust.
Focaccia Bread (Original recipe here)
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (plus more for dusting & kneading)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 13.5 ounces warm water (slightly over 1 1/2 cups)
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
Combine 3 1/2 cups flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl, and whisk together. Add water a little at a time.
Using your hands, combine the flour mixture and the water, kneading in the bowl. Check consistency of the dough – if it is too wet (should be somewhat sticky but not too much), add a bit more flour and work it in.
[From The Paupered Chef: A good test is this -- ask a friend to poke an unfloured finger into the dough (or rinse one of your own off and dry it and do the same). The dough should stick to the finger a bit, but it shouldn't be impossible to get off. You don't want it to be gloopy at all. You want to be able to work and knead the dough without the majority of it clumping between your fingers.]
Scrape dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep it from getting too sticky. After kneading, scatter a little flour back in the mixing bowl, and dump the dough back in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towl, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Drizzle a baking pan with olive oil (I used a metal pizza pan, but you can use whatever pan you like) and spread it around to coat the bottom and sides, then scatter a little cornmeal around the pan. Drop the dough in and spread it around the pan. It’s okay if it doesn’t reach the edges, but you do want it to be a relatively uniform thickness throughout.
Cover the pan with (greased) plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
When dough is finished rising, poke holes with a floured finger all over the surface. Drizzle with olive oil (don’t be stingy), spread it around a bit, and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake 25-30 minutes , until top is light golden. Remove from oven and let cool just a couple minutes – it is best eaten warm.
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