Focaccia simply is a Italian style flatbread seasoned with various herbs. It can be made with olives, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and rosemary. I make focaccia with whatever herbs I have on hand. For the extra kick I also add crushed red chili. It can be eaten on its own as it is seasoned but can be had with olive oil and pepper as a dip. Alternatively you can also serve it with cheese dip or balsamic vinegar with olive oil too.
You can also make cheese sandwiches or toasts out of it which are perfect for picnics or road trips. Focaccia is excellent accompaniment to a glass of red wine.
I usually make this bread when I make soups at home, which makes a hearty meal. Niki and hubby love bread – all kinds.
Extra virgin olive oil brings a deeper and fruity flavor to the bread. You may use any kind of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the first press from the olives hence it has a pronounced green color. The flavor of the oil is more rich and robust. The subsequent presses from olives yield lighter flavored oils.
It’s bread time now friends…
10 minutes + rising time
About 2 hours 20 minutes
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 ½ tsp honey
- 1 ¾ tsp yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 tsp to top the focaccia dough
- 1 tsp crushed red chili
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
Mix water, yeast and honey. Stir and let it bloom.
In a bowl add flour, salt, red chili, oregano and olive oil. mIx well. Add the activated yeast mixture and make a dough by kneading for 4-5 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky. Rub some oil and keep covered in a warm place for the dough to rise.
After an hour the dough will have risen. Knead briefly and roll to fit a 7 by 11 baking pan. The rolled dough should be 1 ½ -2 inches thick. Rest the dough for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the 2 tsp olive oil on the dough and bake for 20 minutes. If you feel the focaccia is not browned well on the top broil for 1 minute keeping a close eye so it won’t burn.
Take out the bread from the oven and rest in the pan for 10 minutes. After 10-15 minutes place it on a cooling rack to cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
Make sure the dough is slightly sticky, if you need more water feel free to add a tsp or two.
You can also use a 8 by 8 baking pan.
You can use sugar instead of honey.
The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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