Focaccia has always been one of my favorite types of bread. I remember, probably 12 years ago making focaccia for the first time. I had this big plan to make fancy sandwiches out of the bread on a weekend. Amazingly enough the bread turned out, and I loved the sandwiches. My husband and I were engaged at the time, so I think I had even more to prove. I had to impress him! Well, I use a different recipe now, but this bread is requested often.
My one word of advice for those of you who fear baking with yeast. Check your expiration date, and store your yeast properly. Mine has a permanent spot in my fridge. Recently I attempted this with a “different” brand of yeast that someone sent me. I think it got too hot in the mail and killed the yeast, because it never rose at all! I went back to my normal brand (Red Star), and it worked perfectly. So treat your yeast properly, and you should have great results.
I love rosemary, so this is my favorite version of focaccia. If rosemary isn’t your thing, you could use a different herb, or put sliced onions on top when you bake it. Whatever you are craving, go for it. This recipe makes 2 very large loafs of bread. I divide each loaf in 1/2, wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer. When we want bread, I remove the plastic wrap, and reheat in a 350 degree oven until it is warm. We love it dipped in olive oil. My 7 year old likes it so much, he asked if I could make this bread every time I make bread.
This post is linked to Bake Your Own Bread for February
- 2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) dry yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water (100 degrees)
- 2 1/4 cups tepid water
- 2 Tbls olive oil
- 3 cups bread flour
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbls salt
- 3 Tbls fresh chopped rosemary
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- Additional olive oil for pan and brushing
Stir yeast into a small bowl of the 1/3 cup warm water. Let rest for 10 minutes, until foamy.
In a large bowl, mix 2 1/4 cups water, olive oil, and the foamy yeast mixture.
Mix 2 cups of bread flour and salt into the water mixture. Mix in 2 Tbls rosemary. Add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time until it all comes together in a ball of dough.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 8 minutes. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour.
Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray. Turn dough around in the oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes, or until double in size.
Divide the dough into 2 balls of dough.
Spread some olive oil onto two baking sheets. Place a ball of dough onto each baking sheet, spread so the dough is about 1 inch thick. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Using your fingers press about 1/2 inch into the dough to make dimples. Cover and let rise about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brush olive oil over all of the dough. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Sprinkle with additional 1 Tbls rosemarly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bread is cooked through. It will sound hollow when you knock on it.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.