Easy Italian Herb Focaccia
Clipped this one from a magazine (who knows when or from where) and didn’t make too many changes. Compared it with several MUCH more complicated recipes for focaccia and decided that I would try the easy recipe FIRST . . . it turned out great. I’m sure the recipes requiring sponges and all-day-multiple-rises are super, but for me, I’ll stick with this simple version.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Rise time: 45 minutes – 1-1/4 hours (depending on the temperature of your kitchen)
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
Servings: 8-10 large pieces
- 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp instant or Rapid Rise yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1-2/3 cups very warm water (120° to 130°F)
- 2 Tbls shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbls Italian Herb Seasoning (I use Penzeys; or mix up your own combination of dried basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme & rosemary)
Prepare an 11″x17″ baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and then brushing some olive oil on the parchment paper. (Yes, you can get by with just oiling a baking sheet, but I find the parchment paper produces a nicer crust.)
Whisk together the flour, undissolved yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir together with a fork until well mixed. The dough will be very sticky.
Using a greased spatula, spread the dough on the prepared baking sheet. It will NOT fill the whole sheet. Leave it about 9×12″ and 1/2″ thick (see note below). Cover with oiled plastic wrap.
Let rise until doubled, 30-60 minutes.
Poke multiple “dents” into the dough with the end of the handle of a wooden spoon. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the dough; sprinkle with the parmesan and italian herb seasoning.
Let rise an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, while the oven preheats to 375°F.
Bake 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. Cool slightly and cut into slices; serve warm with butter or additional olive oil for dipping.
NOTE: The original instructions used a 9×13″ pan, but when I’ve tried that in the past, I had difficulty getting the bread OUT of the pan later. Leaving it more free-form on a baking sheet works better for me.
© 2010, Lucinda DeWitt
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