Friday, December 30, 2011

Herb Focaccia Bread

I found this recipe a few months ago on my favorite blog (here), and it has become a favorite at our house! It has turned out well every time I've made it. We've had it as a side for Italian food, roast chicken, and more.

Brushing with olive oil before baking

All done & golden brown!

Herb Focaccia Bread
Printable version here

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast (or 1 packet)
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
3/4 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 tbsp. fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (or 1/2 tbsp. fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. olive oil (plus more for topping)
1 cup warm water

1. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix in the herbs. Add the garlic, water and olive oil and mix until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook if using, and knead for 4-6 minutes (adding additional flour only if necessary- the dough will get less sticky as it kneads). The dough should be soft and pliable but not overly stiff. Likewise, it shouldn't leave a lot of sticky dough residue on your fingers. The goal is a soft, supple dough.

2. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30 minutes, until it is puffy. Gently deflate dough and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 425ยบ. Lightly grease a large, rimmed baking sheet and with your hands, spread the dough out into roughly an 8x10 inch rectangle. Use your knuckles or fingertips to make indentations over the dough, about every 1/2 inch. Lightly brush dough's surface with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

4. Immediately after removing from the oven, brush 1 more tablespoon olive oil over the bread, and sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp. salt. Cut into pieces and serve. Best when eaten the day it's made.

Why I love it? Mainly because it is delicious- the herbs and olive oil are fantastic together! It's a nice soft bread, and the steps are pretty simple. Plus, you just can't buy fresh, hot bread like this from a store!

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