A Simple Focaccia

Focaccia, a soft oven baked bread dripping with olive oil, sometimes seasoned with herbs or topped with black olives and onions, is one of the most delightful snacks found in Italy! Sold in the bakeries and out of small windows along the streets. The aroma of fresh-baked Focaccia is irresistible. A simple bread, Focaccia is often made at home, to be served with a meal or as sandwich bread. Focaccia dough is similar to pizza dough but the outcome is quite different. It is not necessary to knead the dough. Just mix the ingredients in a bowl. Allow the dough to rise, then roll it out, place it in a pan dripping with olive oil. Set the pan in a warm place and allow the dough to rise again. Before putting it in the oven, make multiple wells across the surface of the bread by pressing a thumb into the dough. After baking a few minutes, pour olive oil over the bread then return it to the oven to finish baking. The result is a soft bread with a slightly flaky crust and rich olive flavor.

 Ingredients:

3/4 kilo all-purpose flour ( 6 cups )

1 package dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups water

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

 

olive oil

coarse salt

Directions: 

Step One: The Starter

1 ½ cup very warm water for dry yeast, warm water for compressed yeast

1 package dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour

 

Place the water in a bowl with sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour. Sprinkle the dry yeast or crumble the compressed yeast over the hot water mixture. Allow to stand in a warm place until the yeast begins to grow. Stir the remaining flour into the mixture. Let ferment on the counter for at least an hour. Making it the night before is even better.

 

Step Two: The Dough 

3 cups of starter

4 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup warm water

 

Mix the dough with a wooden spoon, beating the dough until smooth, about 10 minutes. The dough should be sticky, not firm. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Stir the dough again with a wooden spoon. The dough will be elastic, pull the dough up with the spoon in a circular motion. Let rest for another 30 minutes. On a floured surface pour out the dough, lightly dust the surface of the dough with flour and roll out to the size of a baking sheet. Pour olive oil in the bottom of the pan and place the dough in the pan. Let the dough rise for an hour or two, depending on how warm is your kitchen. Press wells in the dough before putting it in a hot oven at 400 F. (225 C). Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, cover with olive oil, sprinkle the surface with salt, return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

Advertisements