Monday, December 28, 2009


Even with all the Christmas baking happening around here, I was in the mood to make some bread. I have become more experimental and comfortable working with yeast, so I thought I would give focaccia a try.
For years I have had a copy of Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking collecting dust on my shelf. My husband used a potato buttermilk roll recipe out of it a while back and had great success, so it was my turn!
The dough went together quickly and kneaded in the Kitchen for 6 minutes. After that, it was just a lot of waiting and making the topping. It was worth the wait. The bread turned out to be full of flavor and just the right texture. I think it would be delicious to use for BLT's, or as the book suggests, croutons for a Caesar salad.

Basic Focaccia
makes 1 large flatbread

2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1 3/4 c. warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
5 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)
2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. coarse sea salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, 1/2 c. of olive oil, the flour, and the the fine sea salt. Place the bowl on the mixer, attach the dough hook, and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes. Add up to 1/2 c. flour while kneading to prevent the dough from sticking. Remove dough from the bowl.
Form the dough into a ball, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, 1-1 1/2 hours. For a more flavorful bread, make the dough up to this point, punch it down, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Let the dough come to room temp before shaping.
Pour the remaining 1/4 c. of oil evenly in half-sheet pan. Turn the dough out into the pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan. If it is too elastic to spread without springing back, let it rest for five minutes. Cover the pan loosely with a dry kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Dimple the dough by pressing your fingertips all the way into it at 1-inch intervals over the entire surface. Sprinkle it with the coarse salt, if desired.
Bake the focaccia until golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool in pan. Cut it into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. Store tightly wrapped in aluminum foil at room temp for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 2 weeks. Reheat at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

I caramelized a sweet onion in butter and sugar and then added some finely chopped rosemary and garlic and sauteed for a couple minutes. Spread the mixture over the dough before dimpling and sprinkle with salt.

*Note: I only kneaded for 6 minutes, and did not need to add additional flour to prevent dough from sticking. Also, next time I make this, I may move it up one rack as the bottom of the dough seemed to get a little done for my liking.


  1. I love focaccia and your photo is very enticing. Will have to give this a try.

  2. Thank you for sharing the focaccia with us, a taste treat for sure! I have never tried making focaccia but the mention of using it for BLT's may spur me on!!! Delicious!!!