Focaccia for the Masses

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This recipe was fast and delicious. The entire loaf was demolished within 24 hours. I served the bread at a tres petite dinner party but couldn’t help thinking how delicious it would be for sandwiches. This is an excellent bread for parties or social gatherings and has a lot of potential applications (bread, of course, sandwiches, appetizer ingredient). If you are afraid of yeast, this is a nice recipe to ease you into the bread making process and if you have a stand-mixer, there is virtually no work involved. Try it! You’ll like it. : )

I replaced the chopped onion in the original recipe with garlic powder and parmesan. There are a number of variations you could try if neither of those flavors appeals to you.

Garlic Herb Focaccia – Adapted from the Onion Focaccia Recipe in The Williams Sonoma Cookbook

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (105*-115*)
1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 1/2 tsp. table salt
4-4 1/4 c. bread flour, plus extra as needed
1/2 cup dried parmesan
1 Tbsp. garlic powder

Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Italian Seasoning (or other herbs) for sprinkling

In a heavy duty mixer with the paddle attachment sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the sugar over 1/2 cup of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand at room temp. until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining water and sugar, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the table salt, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the flour and beat on medium low speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the onion. Switch to the dough hook. On low speed, beat in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft, shaggy dough forms that starts to pull away from the bowl sides. Knead on low speed, adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough sticks, until moist, soft, and slightly sticky, about 6 min. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the paper lightly with oil. Turn the dough out onto prepared sheet. With oiled fingers, press and flatten the dough into an oval 1 inch thick. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour. It will be at least 2 inches thick.

With your fingertips, make deep indentations 1 inch apart all over the surface of the dough, almost to the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Place a baking stone on the bottom oven rack and preheat to 425*. Sprinkle the bread lightly with the sea salt and italian seasoning. Place the pan on the stone and bake until the bread is lightly browned, 20-25 minutes (20 minutes exactly and my loaf was PERFECT). Check the bottom and bake for a few extra minutes if it is pale. Slide the bread onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, in squares or wedges.

 

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A delicious lunch

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