Lately I have been on a bread making kick. There is something so peaceful about the process of making bread. I usually lack a great deal of patience, so learning how to enjoy the process involved in baking bread has been quite incredible. The recipe below yields two medium sized focaccia loaves, or one large focaccia loaf. What I like to do is make the full recipe, but freeze half of the dough. I was skeptical about freezing the dough at first, but it really holds up great in the freezer. If you'd like to freeze some just do so after step four. Simply put the dough in a freezer safe storage bag and remove all excess air. Defrost in the fridge for 12 hours, and pick back up at step five. It will be just as delicious as the unfrozen focaccia.
I hope you enjoy the recipe! A few of my other favorite topping combinations include rosemary & dried lavender, lemon slices with fresh thyme, and simply sea salted. Have any of you baked your own focaccia before? I'm always looking for new tips and tricks.
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup olives of choice
- roasted garlic to taste
- Combine warm water, yeast & sugar in a regular bowl. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until it is bubbling and fragrant.
- In a mixer fitted with a dough hook combine flour, salt, 1/2 cup olive oil & the yeast mixture on low speed.
- As soon as the dough comes together, continue to knead for 5 minutes on a medium speed. It should be smooth at this time. Remove to a clean surface and knead by have for a few seconds. Use a bit of flour here if the dough is still very sticky.
- Coat the inside of the mixer bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil & put the dough back in the bowl. Cover and let rest for at least 1 hour. It should double in size.
- Coat you pan with all but one tablespoon of the remaining olive oil.
- Put dough into pan and begin pressing it out to size. Flip dough to make sure both sides are coated with olive oil. Once you stretch your dough to size, begin making finger indents into the top of your dough (read do not complexly puncture your dough, just indent).
- Leave dough to sit until it has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat over to 425 degrees F.
- Before putting dough into the oven top with olives (no sea salt needed due to the already salty nature of the olives), roasted garlic, and 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.