After the cinnamon buns I was craving something savory. I have never made focaccia and thought I would take advantage of some of the fresh herbs in my Mums garden and try that.
This recipe for dough could be used to make multiple types of focaccia. I chose three different toppings for mine using the herbs and salt mixture for the basis. Then to one third I added parmesan and to the last third tomatoes.
The dough recipe itself comes from my new bread book however I have modified it some and added significant amounts of olive oil. That seems to be the trick to getting a really nice chewy but crunchy crusted focaccia. In fact I was so impressed with this recipe I was thinking of using it to make a nice thin crust pizza. I have been meaning to have another good pizza night to go along with my wednesday tv addiction. Also, I used the by-hand instructions so those are what I have laid out here since I haven’t tried the stand mixer versio
BTW, this was a huge hit at home. Even my dad who thought I was crazy to want to bake again had several pieces, and my Mum wanted the recipe.
2t active dry yeast
3 1/2C unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/3C warm skim milk
1 1/2t salt
1/3C olive oil
1/2C olive oil
2 cloves garlic
a handful fresh rosemary
1/2t dried basil
rock salt for sprinkling
plus tomatoes or cheese or roasted veggies as desired
1. In a large liquid measure warm the milk, then sprinkle the yeast, sugar and 1t of the flour. Stir and let sit until foamy, about 15 minutes.
2. Combine salt and 1C flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture and oil and stir to combine. Beat the mixture using a dough whisk adding the flour 1/2C at a time until a sticky dough pulls away from the bowl. You really want it very sticky try not to add too much flour.
3. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 2 minutes. It really should be sticky. If you need to add flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and work surface. Do try and not add to much flour. You will end up with a better crust if it is a sticky dough.
4. Form into a flattened ball and put in a deep greased container. Turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise somewhere draft free until tripled in bulk. About 1 1/2 hours.
5. While waiting for the dough start the topping. Peel and smash the garlic and add it to a warm pan along with the olive oil. Allow the garlic to get lightly brown. Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Roughly chop the rosemary and add along with the basil. Allow to come to room temperature.
6. Grease a cookie sheet with an ample amount of oil. Very ample. Roll out the dough into 1/4″-3/8″ thin. It will likely be very delicate.
7. Transfer to the cookie sheet and spread to fit. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
8. Once the foccacia has finished its last rise it is almost ready for dressing, but first we must indent it. Gently poke the dough with a floured finger making 1/4″ deep holes about 2″ apart. This will stop the dough from bubbling up and away from the pan. Remove the garlic pieces from the oil and drizzle on top, evenly spreading it out but letting the oil pool in the dots. If you have a brush that may help to spread out the oil but be gentle! If you don’t have at least a light coating of oil at this point don’t feel shy about adding more.
9. Sprinkle rock salt all over the top. The amount you use is really a personal taste thing. I would use about a tablespoon or so, but you should adjust.
10. Bake in a 400F for about 25-35 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack for a few minutes before slicing.[/print_this]