Recipe courtesy of Chef Bren Ankrum – Culinary Editor
This is a basic recipe for focaccia bread. You may choose to add olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers or other ingredients to the dough for additional textures and flavors. This is a very versatile recipe and many versions are made daily by Italian bakeries.
Equipment/ utensils required:
Chef’s knife, cutting board, baking sheet, mixer, mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, spatula
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. (1/4 oz.) rapid rise yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp. herbs d’provence
2 tbsp. dried thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary chopped fine
1/4 cup thinly sliced red or sweet onion
1. Pour the yeast into one cup of warm water and add the sugar. Let sit until the mixture begins to foam.
2. Dissolve the salt in a small amount of warm water.
3. Add the yeast-sugar water to your mixing bowl and using a dough hook and begin to stir on low speed and add the flour, a little at a time, thyme and herbs d’provence. Slowly to combine then add the salt and the ¼ cup of olive oil.
4. Continue to mix with the mixer until the entire set of ingredients are well combined and have formed a cohesive ball. You may need to remove the dough from the hook a few times during this process. If the dough is too wet add a little flour until the dough is firm but not wet looking.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a ball.
6. Place the ball into an oiled mixing bowl, being sure all surfaces of the dough ball are lightly coated with olive oil so as not to create a skin while resting and rising.
7. Let the dough rise in the bowl in a warm area, covered, until it doubles in size.
8. Once raised, turn out onto a baking sheet that is generously coated with corn meal and using your finger tips press into an oblong shape a little thinner in the middle than the edges and then add the sliced onions to the top. Let this rest for about 15 minutes, or until well raised, in a warm area while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
9. Once the dough on the stone has rested and begun to rise again place it into the oven into the oven and bake until the crust is browned. Remove and let cool at room temperature.