I do love focaccia and have made several different variations. But this one, using dried herbs, garlic powder and some parmesan just has to be the best , so far.
It is not only very tasty, but also easy to make. Though I say easy I must also mention that it takes quite a long time. But that time is not really labour intensive, since 3 hours of the time is actually to proof the dough twice.
The dough is best made in a stand mixer, since there is a 15 minute knead time. It would be longer and more tiring, if kneaded by hand, though that is possible too.
Focaccia is great for dipping in some flavoursome olive oil It is also very good for making a sandwich or panini. I also enjoy toasting some and eating it with caponata. There are, clearly, many different ways to enjoy this wonderful bread.
There are also many flavourings that you can include. This particular recipe uses dried mixed herbs and garlic powder in the dough. Then some parmesan is grated on the top. But different cheese could be used, as well as different herbs and spices. Other toppings too are good on focaccia, tomatoes, olives, anchovies and any number of other things.
So if you feel adventurous you can use this dough recipe as the base for limitless variations.
I baked my focaccia for 35 minutes. it was nicely browned on the top after that time. So I tested the temperature and it had reached 98C/208F. So I knew it was ready to come out of the oven. I then placed the focaccia on a wire rack. Having left it to cool I cut some so I could taste it.
The crust had a great chew, slightly crisp when warm, but soft and chewy later. The inside was beautifully soft, with a great crumb. The flavour was perfect too, the mixed herbs really delivered. There was also a background garlic flavour and just enough of a cheese flavour to satisfy me.
I ate some with caponata. I also sliced some horizontally to use for a sandwich. Making a panini was easy too, slicing it and filling it with grilled aubergine, courgettes and roasted peppers, as well as some ham and cheese.
In fact this bread is very versatile. I also enjoy it with some pasta with meat sauce. Dipping it in the sauce is great.
I also froze some individual portions as they keep well like that, for another time.
Another great bread recipe is: Easy No Knead Turkish Bread.
Dried Mixed Herb FocacciaCourse: BreadCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
600g(4 cups) bread flour(or plain flour will work)
20g(1 1/2 tbsp) sugar
150ml (1/2 cup + 2 tbps) milk at room temperature
290l(1 cup + 3tbsp+1 tsp) water at room temperature
65ml(1/4 cup + 1 tsp) olive oil
15g (2 1/2 tsp) salt
7g (1 packet) instant yeast
2g(2 tsp) dried mixed herbs
6g(1 1/2 tsp) powdered garlic
grated parmesan for the top, to personal taste
extra olive oil for drizzling and greasing.
- Place the flour, sugar, herbs, garlic powder and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix briefly with the paddle attachment.
- Add the water, milk and oil and mix until everything is pulled together into a shaggy dough.
- Change the paddle for the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 15 minutes, adding in the salt once the machine has started to knead
- After 15 minutes the dough will still be very tacky, and should be tipped out onto a floured work surface.
- Fold the dough over on itself about 4 times and then form it into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to proof in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Brush oil all over the surface of a large baking tray, with raised edges(42cm x30). If necessary use 2 pans.
- Tip the dough into the pan and with well oiled hands push the dough flat until it covers the entire surface of the pan. If the dough is springing back and making it difficult to push into the corners simply cover it and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes, then try again.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to proof again, in warm place, for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
- Uncover the dough and oil your hands.
- Press your fingers all over the dough, making dimples across the surface.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top and then grate parmesan, to personal taste, over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is a nice golden brown. Keep an eye on the focaccia as it bakes so that it doesn’t brown too much.
- Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.