Focaccia Bread

Who doesn’t like fresh baked bread that comes straight from the hot oven? Exactly… so I decided to make focaccia bread to serve with chicken cacciatore that I made for dinner the other night. I have made this recipe a few times and am not sure why I haven’t made it more. It’s easy and delicious. The recipe I use is from the greatest baking resource that I know (besides my mother of course)… William Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking.

This is an amazing cookbook that has everything from pain au levain to puff pastry to classic chocolate ganache. I would recommend this cookbook to the beginner or the experienced baker. It has all the classic baking recipes that are fairly stress-free and easy to follow. Hope you guys try this one and let me know what you think!

2 packages dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cups flour and extra for kneading
3 teaspoons sea salt
1.5 teaspoons dried rosemary*

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup of olive oil, the flour, and 2 teaspoons of sea salt. If using a kitchen aid, attach the dough hook and knead on low speed for 5-7 minutes (or knead by hand for same amount of time). Add up to 1/2 cup flour while kneading in order to prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl. Form the dough in a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about 1-1.5 hours.

Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of oil on a half-sheet pan. Press the dough into the pan. If it’s too elastic to spread out, let it rest for 5 minutes. Cover the pan with a dry kitchen towel and let rise again for 1 hour. Position a rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 450. Dimple the dough with your fingertips. Sprinkle with remaining sea salt and rosemary. Bake focaccia for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in aluminum foil or freeze. ENJOY! (Printable recipe)

*There are numerous variations for toppings you can choose from. Another delicious option is to saute onions and garlic in a pain until both are caramelized. Add to the focaccia just before dimpling the dough.

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