Just the word "focaccia" sounds intimidating to me. Not too intimidating to devour whole, mind you, just intimidating enough to make from scratch. I picture a charming Italian grandmother, carefully kneading dough and letting it rise under her watchful eye. There must be some trick to make this Italian flat bread taste so delicious. Well, I did not need to look very far. Keith can make focaccia in his sleep. He made it every day at one of the restaurants where he worked. So let us say, he has definitely perfected the art.
Keith's focaccia is pretty incredible, and it is surprisingly easy to make. It just requires a few simple ingredients and a little patience (as you wait for the dough to rise). One batch of this stuff, and you will find it hard to eat store-bought bread again. Keith's choice to add fresh rosemary takes it over the top for me.
There is nothing better than this flavorful bread, piping hot and right out of the oven. The olive oil gives it a rich flavor and a moist, slightly dense bite. It is the perfect side dish to any meal. We also like to slice it thickly and use it for sandwiches the next day. The secret is out. You do not need an experienced Italian grandmother in your kitchen to make focaccia.... just a little help from Superman.
A versatile bread that is simple to make and goes well with any meal.
- I package active yeast
- 5 C flour plus more for kneading
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 3/4 C warm water 110-115 degrees
- 4-5 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 C olive oil
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine water, sugar and yeast and mix.
- Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to activate yeast( it will look frothy )
- Combine flour and salt and add to liquid mixture and knead until dough forms and pulls away from bowl.
- Roll onto floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and just slightly tacky.
- Add 2 Tbsp oil to a large bowl and roll dough to coat.
- Cover bowl with towel and sit in a warm place until dough has doubled ( about an hour)
- Pour half of the oil onto a 13x9 sheet pan and transfer dough to pan and spread out with finger tips filling dough into corners.
- Drizzle remaining oil on top of dough ( this will seem like too much oil, however this will be absorbed into the dough) and press finger tips into dough to form dimples into dough.
- Remove leaves from stems of Rosemary and roughly chop and spread evenly on dough.
- Allow to sit until oven is preheated to 425 degrees
- Sprinkle top of dough with kosher salt and bake for 20-25 minutes until bread is golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
- This bread is great dipped into a dish of your best olive oil.