I am still going to claim that I am NOT much of a baker…however, this Focaccia may have just sent me to the dark side…haha! It was absolutely amazing…now my head is just spinning as to the possibilities of how I can create versions of focaccia using this basic dough recipe. Get creative and tag me in your photos! I bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry already…so let’s get baking!
Start to finish is just about an hour…so it’s a very simple recipe and unbelievably quick for bread. Oh…and then there is this…do you remember me telling you a while back on another post…my hubby broke my stand mixer…I have yet to replace it…so all of this was done by hand and a whisk! Feel free to use a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
I have a confession to make…I am hot year round…so I literally leave my home temperature set at 65 degrees…does not make it easy for bread to rise…so I used a little trick and heated up my oven just enough…shut it off…and allowed the focaccia to rise in there…worked perfectly!
UPDATE: So I made this a second time and my first batch was really flat…I am thinking my cast iron pan is just too wide…so I tried a second batch and doubled the recipe…YES…it worked so much better…the thickness of the focaccia was just perfect! I also decided to top this second go round with thinly sliced potatoes…see recipe below!
In a bowl, combine the warm water and sugar. Stir to melt the sugar…add in the yeast and allow the yeast to bloom for about five minutes or so. You will know it is ready when bubbles form. In the meantime, heat up the oven to 200 degrees…turn off and keep the door closed.
Thoroughly, incorporate one cup of the flour and salt to the yeast mixture.
Continue adding more flour until a nice dough forms…the dough is done when it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl…you may or may not use the entire remaining cup. Turn the down out onto a floured surface.
Prepare your Lodge cast iron pan (if you do not have one…click here...you need a cast iron pan in your life) by rubbing the entire inside surface with oil. Roll out the dough just enough to fit inside the pan. Place flattened dough in the pan and form dough around the edges. Cover and place in warmed oven until the dough doubles in size…this should take about 20 minutes or so.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a bowl. Add in the olive oil and chopped rosemary…mix well. Remove the risen dough from the oven and make indents around the entire surface with your finger. Brush with about half of the butter mixture. For an added touch, sprinkle with a few dashes of McCormick crushed red pepper (optional).
Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. HINT: Brush a bit more of the butter mixture on the focaccia the last few minutes of baking, turn on the broiler and allow to brown. Just do NOT take your eyes off of it…you do not want the rosemary or crushed red pepper to burn.
Remove from oven and brush with a bit more of the butter mixture. Sprinkle with a touch of kosher or sea salt…Serve and ENJOY!!!
FOCACCIA WITH SLICED POTATOES:
As noted above…I would start doubling this recipe from now on. Follow the directions above for the focaccia…just before placing in the oven to bake, slice a few (two to three) small yellow potatoes on a mandolin (use the thinest setting)…be very careful…be sure to use the guard.
Allow the potatoes to set on paper towels for a few minutes to release water…you can also place potatoes slices in the paper towel and squeeze. Place potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and fresh chopped rosemary.
Layer potatoes on focaccia and bake according to the directions above!