Yesterday my house was smelling like a pizzeria, you know why? Because I was baking Focaccia bread and to my delight it came out so well that I could not stop myself from sharing its recipe with all of you. Focaccia is a flat oven baked bread very similar in style and texture to pizza dough.It is typical of Liguria, but is popular throughout Italy with some regional variations.The bread is topped with herbs and sometimes other ingredients like onions,black olives and cheese.It is used as a side to many meals or is also used as a sandwich bread.It is a bread with lots of herbs and flavour and can be baked easily and no fancy equipments needed. Though it is slightly time taking process but totally worth the effort.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 2 tbsp extra for dusting
- 10 gm dry active yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/4 cup luke warm water
- Dry or fresh herbs( thyme,oregano,basil or rosemary)
- 1-2 flakes sliced garlic
- 1 tbsp sliced onion
- 6-7 black olives sliced
- Some grated parmesan cheese and some mozzarella cheese
- Take 1/4 cup of luke warm water in a glass and add sugar to it. Sprinkle yeast over it,mix it and leave in a warm place to rise.This may take about 5 to 15 minutes depending upon the yeast.
- Meanwhile in a mixing bowl take 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour,add salt and 2 -3 tbsp of olive oil.Mix well and to this add the frothy yeast and sugar mixture.Mix well and then add the remaining water into it and form the dough. In the beginning the dough may be sticky, no need to bother.Sprinkle some flour on the counter top and put the dough over it and knead the dough using stretching and rolling technique ,sprinkling some flour in between till the dough becomes non sticky .This will take about 10-15 minutes.Shape it into a round ball tucking its edges ,cover it with a cling foil and keep in a warm place till its volume doubles.This is the first proofing.
- When the dough doubles in size ,knock down the air inside ,form it into a ball and keep it again till it doubles in size. This is called second proofing.
- After second proofing place the dough on the greased and floured baking sheet either square or round.With the help of the fingers stretch it to the size and shape you want making indents in it.(1″ in thickness)
- Drizzle olive oil over it. Top it with sliced onions, garlic,cheese , herbs and black olives.Leave it for about 15-20 min.
- Pre- heat the oven to 250 degree centigrade and bake the bread for about 10 minutes.Mine took 10 minutes to rise and cook.After 10 minutes I changed the setting of my oven and switched on the top element(grill setting in my oven) for 2-3 minutes which helped in achieving nice golden colour on top.
- My focaccia is ready to be served.
- Herbs can be added in the flour also for added flavour and texture.
- Single herb or a mixture of herbs can be used as per taste.
- Choice of topping can also be customised .
- Oven caliberation may vary from oven to oven,so be mindful of that.
SO BAKE AND ENJOY TILL I ARRIVE WITH A NEW RECIPE……..TILL THEN HAPPY COOKING!