Basic Focaccia

One of the most versatile yeast breads you can make and I have to say my favorite.  I make focaccia for parties as an appetizer -big wooden cutting boards of sliced potato, onion and rosemary focaccia, oven roasted tomato and fresh oregano focaccia  and black olive and thyme focaccia.  I serve them room temperature with an antipasti platter, hummus and olive tapenade, perfect for any party.  Simple and elegant.  Or slice in half and fill with whatever you would like and cut into squares.  And then there are paninis, the outside of the focaccia gets so crispy while the inside stays soft and airy, delicious.  Also, makes the perfect table bread to go along an entree soup or pasta. Yum.

This recipe  fits in a ¼ sheet pan (9.5x13), a great kitchen investment, found in any restaurant supply store.  They are cheaper and better quality than the ones found in big box stores   I use the ½ and ¼ sheet pans all the time.  

I make a bunch and freeze them, just allow to come to room temperature and re-crisp in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 450.  Feel free to add anything you would like to the top, I love the simplicity of fresh thyme from my garden, sea salt and good extra virgin olive oil.  This recipe is so simple, I make it right in my kitchen aide.
-Holly




Basic Focaccia

Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Warm Water (110 Degrees)
  • 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
  • 5 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt, Plus More to Sprinkle on Top
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Plus More for Brushing on Top and in Pan
  • 3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme




Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer 2 cups of warm water and dry yeast, let rest five minutes.
  2. With paddle attachment on low add 2 cups of flour, salt and olive oil and mix until combined, add the remaining flour one cup at a time mixing in between.  After all flour is incorporated switch to dough hook and turn mixer on medium and mix for 5 minutes.  Turn into greased bowl and cover with towel and let rise 1 ½ to 2 hours until it doubles in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 Degrees
  4. Grease ¼ sheet pan.  Punch down dough and press out flat on ¼ sheet pan, cover with towel and let rise 30 to 45 minutes.  The dough should almost double in size.
  5. Brush the top with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and thyme leaves.  With your fingertips dimple the dough in an even manner.
  6. Place ¼ sheet pan on ½ sheet and place in center of oven.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden in color and cooked all the way through.  

 

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