I'm not sure why yesterday I wanted to make focaccia bread, but while at work I decided to try and find a recipe and make it. The simple, salty bread is one of my favorites, but I only have it when I go to a restaurant that serves it.
There was a snow storm yesterday, so both Ben and I got out of work early. I thought making focaccia would be a nice afternoon activity and snack.
Making the dough turned out to be a bit harder than I thought, well only because I bought bum yeast. After two attempts at making my yeast grow I decided to just use the bad yeast, and have a bit crunchier focaccia. It would still taste the same I hoped.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
1 package (.25 oz) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1-2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
First dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water, and let it sit for about 10 minutes, it should grow and be bubbly (but if you're like me you have bad yeast...just go with it.) In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, salt, yeast mixture and the remaining 1/4 cup of water. Mix together with a spoon then use your hands to work ingredients together. You may need a little more flour or water to make the dough smooth and come together, but just go slowly adding, you can easily add too much and get sticky or dry dough. Knead the dough by hand for a few minutes. Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl and let it raise in a warm spot. (You can turn your oven on for 1 minute to 400 degrees, once the heat is off this will be a perfectly warm place for the dough to sit.) It will double in size in about an hour and a half.
Punch down the dough so that it sinks back down, and then place the dough on an oiled pan. (I used Pam to do this, but you can use either one.) Spread the dough out on the baking sheet and dimple the surface with your fingertips. Spread the oil out over the top and sprinkle with the rosemary and salt. I spread parmesan on half of my focaccia bread, but you can use it or not to your liking. I actually enjoyed the non-cheese side better than the other, but both flavors were eaten and loved by everyone, I think it just depends on your mood, and what you want to eat.
Place in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes until bread is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Make a lot, because it will go fast. This bread was incredibly easy and yummy. One of my favorites that I will be making again. You can be really creative with your toppings, use other spices or every vegetables (like olives or sun-dried tomatoes.) Be creative with this one and use flavors that you like. This is a really good basic recipe that can be used over and over again with different toppings and will always be easy and taste good. We all loved it. Hope you try it and do too.