Wednesday, September 9, 2009

(Insanely Delicious) Basic Focaccia

I've been holding out on you guys for a while (due to the backlog) on this focaccia that is the best I've ever had, and one of the best bread products I've ever eaten. I really should've posted about this sooner! I saw this focaccia on Leng's blog and she said how good it was so I asked her for the recipe and she kindly sent it. The focaccia is super soft and so tasty. Maybe all focaccia is meant to be this way and I've just never had fresh focaccia? You use a lot of oil in the pan that it's baked in so the bread basically fries on the bottom - SO GOOD. Especially the super fried corners. Yes maybe not the healthiest bread out there but so worth the indulgence. And usually I hate hand kneading dough but this one wasn't sticky and was super easy to knead.

Unfortunately the bread only keeps fresh for a couple of days so freeze it if you can't eat it all - and it does make a lot of bread so unless you're bread monsters or have a lot of people to eat it you'll probably want to freeze some. I made it exactly as directed this time, but I'd like to try it with some whole wheat flour, and maybe less oil. I know the photos don't make it look like anything spectacular but it really is! Even my stepdad who says he doesn't like eating bread really liked it.

Yes we have a little too many toys and things for Abby haha. I was surprised to find her in the little cubbyhole because she never goes in there. She's kind of too big for it.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Oatmeal Knots
Cheddar & Dill Beer Bread Rolls
Oatmeal Bread

Basic Focaccia
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking

I messed up when I was baking it and cooked it at 350F for 8 minutes then 450F for 10 minutes. Turned out fine though.

5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups of warm water (105° – 115°F)
1 teaspoon of sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
5 cups of all purpose flour (I used 680 g.)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon sea salt (topping)

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand until foamy (~5 minutes). Add the sugar, 1/2 cup of olive oil, the flour, and the fine sea salt and stir with your hand or wooden spoon until a rough ball forms.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface by using a pastry scraper or just scraping it out with your fingers. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup of flour to the work surface and your hands to prevent the dough from sticking.

Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.

Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil evenly onto a half sheet pan. Turn the dough out into the pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan. (If dough is too elastic to spread without springing back, let it rest for 5 minutes). Cover the pan loosely with a dry kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size about 1 hour.
Position the rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 450°F. Dimple the dough by pressing your fingertips all the way into it, about 1 inch a part. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake the focaccia until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan. Cut into square or serve warm or at room temp.

Bread may be stored tightly wrapped at room temp for up to a day. Or freeze up to 2 weeks. To reheat, put leftover bread in the oven at 375°F for 10 minutes.


VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, that focaccia DOES sound marvelous!! Holy yum.

Aww, Abby :-D

Anh said...

I have bookmarked this recipe!!! It does sound good.

Johanna said...

looks light and golden and delicious - and I love abby's cubby hole - we have one a bit like that for zinc but she sniffs it and wont go in

Rose&Thorn said...

You have me! I love baking bread, and this will be a hit in our home.

MollyCookie said...

I've never made Focaccia at home but this looks amazing. One of my favorite things is to experiment with making dipping oils, so home made Focaccia would be the perfect addition to that. Thanks for sharing!

Hannah said...

This is definitely a great recipe to have handy- A solid focaccia can go beautifully with just about any main dish!

Grace said...

delightful! i think focaccia is one of the best types of bread--it's perfect for both sandwiches and fat pizzas. nicely done.

Snooky doodle said...

wow this focaccia is perfect and looks delicious! I adore focaccia especially when it s studied with black olives. So good!!

Helene said...

Beautiful focaccia. I love that bread. So good. Your cat is always so cute.

kimberleyblue said...

I love eating focaccia, but I hate making it. Too hard to spread out in the pan, and it always looks ugly. Yours looks just perfect though!

As usual, love the cat photo.

Liz said...

This bread sound delicious, I have to try to make it!

Have a great weekend!

CookiePie said...

Beautiful! Looks like it came from an Italian bakery!

Anonymous said...

If you claim this is the best focaccia you've ever had, then I am trying it! The last time I made focaccia it was a big flop.

Leng said...


Mmm focaccia! I love ya! :-)

Oh, I have tried in the past making it with 1/2 whole wheat flour and it came out super dry.

I love the crispy bottom too!

Pet Abby for me, she's too adorable.

Steph said...

I love focaccia!! It's been an entire year since I've had some. I love the crispy edges too.

The Ordinary Vegetarian said...

Oh sweet!

(and hooray for the return of Abby!)

Memória said...

Oh this looks amazing. I have to try this out!

Katie said...

I bookmarked this recipe way back when you first posted it, but I just got around to making it this evening. It turned out delicious, and it was quite simple to make! I sprinkled some parmesan cheese, chopped fresh sage and black pepper on top just to give it some extra oomph. Thank you for this fabulous recipe!

eatme_delicious said...

Katie: So happy you liked it! Parmesan cheese, sage and black pepper sound like delicious toppings.

ChefBearden said...

okay, making this foccacia today. Adding pepperoncini and shaved Parm as toppings... Foccacia is my fave, esp after making it in culinary school and it was SO very wet. Amazing bread for sure!

eatme_delicious said...

ChefBearden: I hope you liked it!