Let’s Give ‘Em Something Focaccia Bout
Ah focaccia … the soft and airy sponge of goodness that leaves you wanting more. It’s great with soup, hummus or on its own. If you’re feeling artsy, you can make it gorgeous with garden art.
Many cooks will make focaccia over a period of days for a wonderful rise, but some of us don’t want to wait quite so long when we get the urge.
That’s why we say: Waiting? Focaccia bout it with this same-day recipe!
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 10 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 set aside to drizzle
- 3 teaspoons of active, dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups of bread flour
- 1 teaspoon of honey or a teaspoon of natural, granulated sugar
- 2 cups of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Wooden spoon
- Baking sheet
- 2 mixing bowls
- Tea towel, plate or plastic wrap to cover the rising bread
Optional: seasonings and garden vegetable toppings of your choice
WHAT TO DO:
- Add the honey (or sugar), 1/3-cup warm water and yeast to a large mixing bowl.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and the remaining water and mix.
- Add the flour and mix the dough until it forms a semi-smooth ball.
- Move your dough ball into a bowl that has been coated in olive oil. Cover and set aside for up to 8 hours.
- Prep your baking pan with a generous coat of olive oil and gently spread the dough without trying to stretch it to each corner. Cover with a tea towel and place it in a warm spot to rise again for about 2 hours.
- When the 2 hours are up, create shallow dents in the dough using your fingers or use the end of a wooden spoon. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Add seasonings of your choice as well.
- Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees and bake until the top is golden, drizzling again with remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
When adding the first ingredients, watch the mixture for up to 5 minutes to see if it froths. That will show you have live yeast.
Turn your focaccia into a work of art by adding an array of thinly cut veggies into garden art. Fresh herbs, olives, spiralized carrots, red onion and peppers in all colors, and halved cherry tomatoes make great choices.
Dried oregano or rosemary and some minced fresh garlic make great toppings to add a burst of flavor well.
Patience is a virtue. For really, really good focaccia — an overnight in the fridge will do wonders. When you are ready to be really patient, look into sourdough focaccia recipes.