I don't know what it is with bread but I'm not sure I'd survive without it. I can go months without pasta, but bread?! Maybe a week. Maybe. There are tons of bread recipes out there, and I hope get to them, but for today I want to focus the humble focaccia. While originally made from leftover pizza dough mine is a little more work but so worth it!
This is a recipe I totally stumbled upon by accident. Hubby and I rented a cottage outside Ottawa for a long weekend with friends, in the kitchen I discovered a cookbook written by the owner of the cottage! This was before my foodie days so I didn't really know who she was or anything but it turns out she was a food critic for a local newspaper, among other things. Anyways! It took me a few years but I eventually got my hands on her cookbook again and her focaccia is my absolute favourite. I've tried a few other recipes, big sheet pan ones, etc. but this one is the absolute best! Makes 2 9" rounds. One for you, and one for... okay, also you! (I won't tell if you don't).
My recommendation is actually to use dried rosemary vs fresh, not what you'd expect to hear I know. But I find the fresh rosemary ends up a little chewy where as the dried rosemary can be finely ground with a mortar and pestle. But use what you're comfortable with and don't be afraid to mix it up. Okay, the recipe:
Rosemary Focaccia (adapted from Mrs. Cooks Kitchen Basics & Beyond)
2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast (1 pkg)
1 1/4 C warm water
3 C bread flour
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil (plus more for brushing)
1 tbsp dried rosemary (ground into finer bits)
Fleur de Sel for sprinkling
Line either a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper or cut rounds to fit inside two 9" round baking pans. Set aside until needed.
In a large bowl mix together the yeast, water, and 1 1/2 C of the bread flour. Mix thoroughly then cover and allow to rest for 30mins. We're looking for bubbles across the surface.
Mix in 1 1/4 C bread flour, kosher salt, and 2 tbsp olive oil into the dough and beat until blended. Dump remaining 1/4 C of flour onto a work surface and turn out the dough. Knead until dough is smooth and soft (dusting with more flour if it gets too sticky. Place in a slightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm spot for an hour.
Once the dough has doubled in size dump it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and push and pull until each forms a 8" or 9" circle (rustic shapes totally allowed) and place in the prepared pan of your choice.
Take your finger tips and stab the surface of the dough to make the little holes that are typical of focaccia. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Fleur de Sel, and rosemary. Set aside to rise while you warm the oven to 450F.
Bake for 15-18mins. Turn out onto a rack to cool completely (or as at least until you won't burn your hand ripping into it). Enjoy!
I would love to see what you've been making. Share your posts on Instagram and be sure to tag with #ragebake !