Hey there foodies, today we want to share with you our version of a very popular Italian flat bread, called focaccia. It’s a little bit like a thick pizza dough and it’s incredibly versatile. It can be used for sandwiches, pizza, antipasto or even as a simple snack on it’s own.
Was this a sign?
As we mentioned in a recent post, Liz and I visited South Pond Farms a few weeks ago for a bread making workshop. We made kettle bread and focaccia. The smell in the workshop kitchen was so incredibly good! Mmm… all that delicious bread. The focaccia we made there was a little different than the one we’re featuring today. The taste was similar, but it was taller and we didn’t add any topics, so it was more like a low profile, regular loaf of bread.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m relaxing at home watching an episode of CBC’s new show, The Great Canadian Baking Show. On this show, a group of people compete weekly on challenges until one person is crowned star baker. Of all things, the episode I was watching featured focaccia. This had to be a sign… I knew what our next food blog recipe needed to be. And to be honest, I had a sudden craving for focaccia.
Not always outside the box…
Some of the recipes we’ve posted in the past are twists on original recipes. I wanted this recipe to be close to the traditional version of focaccia. While doing my research, I found that while toppings and cooking methods vary a bit from recipe to recipe, the foundation is very similar across the board.
I’m very happy with the final product! How do I know it worked? After it was done, and before Liz took the pictures, Michael came into the kitchen about 6 times and asked if he could eat some :-). That, plus, when we finally got to dig in, we knew this was a winner.
I’m a huge fan of playing with ingredients to try new things and make it ‘my own’, but sometimes, as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Focaccia is focaccia… and it’s already perfect. So, try something traditional today, and always eat well, friends!
Easy focaccia with rosemary and tomatoes
- 6 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp traditional active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/4 cup + 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups water (just a little warmer than room temperature)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp rosemary leaves
- 5 campari tomatos (or 4 plum tomatoes), sliced in circles
- 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
- In a large stand mixer bowl, add the flour, active dry yeast and salt.
- Start the mixer on low with the dough hook (first speed on the KitchenAid).
- Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and the water. Knead for 10 minutes on low.
- Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- Place the kneaded dough in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
- Poke a few wholes in the plastic wrap and place a blanket over the bowl.
- Let the dough rise for 3 hours or until it doubles in size.
- Uncover the dough and punch it down.
- Lightly flour a counter surface and place the dough on the flour.
- Flour the top of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about the size of a large baking sheet.
- Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil on a large baking sheet and brush the bottom with the oil.
- Place the dough on the baking sheet and carefully pull the dough to all the edges.
- Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise again for about 30 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425 ºF.
- Uncover the dough and stretch it out again to reach the edges.
- Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil evenly over the dough.
- Sprinkle the course salt and pepper evenly over the dough.
- Place the tomato slices and sliced olives over the dough.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The focaccia will have a nice light golden colour when it's ready.
- Let the focaccia rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing into it. Enjoy!
- Cooking time doesn't not include the 3 1/2 hours rising time.
- Feel free to change up the topping.