Two Peas and Their Pod

Focaccia Bread

My dad came to visit last week and we spent most of our time playing with Caleb, but of course we found some time to bake. My dad taught me how to bake when I was a wee one and I still love baking with him today. His cinnamon rolls are famous and he can bake up a mean loaf of Artisan bread. His cookies are pretty tasty too:)

I gave my dad The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Book years ago and I think he has made almost every recipe in the book. It’s a good one! We’ve made a few of the recipes together-Cinnamon Raisin Bread, French Baguettes, and Lavash Crackers. We’ve loved every recipe. This time we baked up Focaccia Bread. My dad has made the recipe several times, but it was a first for me. Trust me, it won’t be the last. This Focaccia Bread is amazing!

Focaccia bread is an Italian bread that is dimpled all over and flavored with olive oil and herbs. The bread takes two days to make, but don’t be intimidated. There is a lot of inactive time-the dough has to rise in the refrigerator overnight. So there isn’t a ton of work involved, just time:) I promise patience pays off with this bread because the end result is SO worth the wait!

The focaccia bread is crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. The olive oil, herbs, garlic, and salt perfectly season the bread. This recipe makes a huge pan loaf, so be prepared to share. Or if you are like us, just keep walking by the pan and eating a piece here and there. It is so hard to resist!

This Focaccia Bread goes well with salad, soup, or any Italian meal. It also makes great sandwiches or panini. I am going to make this Focaccia Bread all summer long. It is a great recipe for using up those fresh garden herbs! Thanks Dad for baking with me!

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for Lightroom 4 and The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook. They both end on Sunday! And check out this week’s edition of This and That. Have a great weekend!

Focaccia Bread

Yield: One 12x17-inch loaf

Prep Time: 1 hour of active prep time and 11 hours of inactive prep time

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Dimpled Italian focaccia bread flavored with olive oil and herbs.

Ingredients:

For the Bread:
5 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water, at room temperature
Extra olive oil, for greasing the pan
Herb olive oil (recipe below)

For the Herb Oil:
2 cups olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (any combination of basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, savory, and sage) - OR - 1/3 cup dried herbs or a blend such as herbes de Provence (we used basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, and rosemary)
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

1. To Make the Herb Oil: Heat 2 cups of olive oil to about 100 degrees F. Add 1 cup of chopped fresh herbs or 1/3 cup dried herbs. We used a mixture of fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and parsley. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir together and allow to steep while you prepare the dough.

2. Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and water and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until all the ingredients form a sticky ball. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is soft and sticky. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl.

3. Sprinkle enough flour on the counter to make a bed about 6 inches square. Using a scraper or spatula dipped in water, transfer the sticky dough to the bed of flour and dust liberally with flour, patting the dough into a rectangle. Let the dough relax for 5 minutes.

4. Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size. Fold it, letter style, over itself to return it to a rectangular shape. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil, again dust with flour, and loosely cover with plastic wrap.

5. Let rest for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough again; mist with spray oil, dust with flour, and cover. After 30 minutes, repeat this one more time.

6. Allow the covered dough to ferment on the counter for 1 hour. It should rise but not double in size.

7. Line a 17 by 12-inch sheet pan with baking parchment paper and drizzle olive oil over the paper. Spread the oil with your hands or a brush to cover the entire surface. Lightly oil your hands and, using a plastic or metal pastry scraper, lift the dough off the counter and transfer it to the sheet pan, maintaining the rectangular shape as much as possible.

8. Spoon half of the herb oil over the dough. Use your fingertips to dimple the dough and spread it to fill the pan simultaneously. Only use your fingertips to avoid tearing or ripping the dough. Try to keep the thickness as uniform as possible across the surface. Dimpling allows you to degas only part of the dough while preserving gas in the non-dimpled sections. If the dough becomes too springy, let it rest for about 15 minutes and then continue dimpling. Don’t worry if you are unable to fill the pan 100 perfect, especially the corners. As the dough relaxes and proofs, it will spread out and fill the pan. Use more herb oil as needed to ensure that the entire surface is coated with oil.

9. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight (or for up to 3 days).

10.Remove the pan from the refrigerator 3 hours before baking. Drizzle additional herb oil over the surface and dimple it in. This should allow you to fill the pan completely with the dough to a thickness of about 1/2-inch. Cover the pan with plastic and proof the dough at room temperature for 3 hours, or until the dough doubles in size, rising to a thickness of nearly 1 inch.

11. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place the pan in the oven. Lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking the focaccia bread for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is lightly golden brown. The internal temperature of the dough should register above 200 degrees F (measured in the center of the loaf).

12. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately transfer the focaccia out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Allow the focaccia to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice

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79 Responses to “Focaccia Bread”

  1. 1
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — June 1, 2012 @ 3:24 am

    This looks absolutely wonderful, Maria! So light and perfect looking!

  2. 2
    Rosa — June 1, 2012 @ 3:34 am

    Splendid! That facaccia looks so smooth and really tasty.

    cheers,

    Rosa

  3. 3
    Heidi @foodiecrush — June 1, 2012 @ 3:39 am

    This might be my favorite gluten treat, especially when dipped in fruity olive oil. I’m going to try it with some roasted artichokes. mmmmmm

  4. 4
    kitchen essence — June 1, 2012 @ 5:49 am

    Yum! That bread looks like it’s worth the wait! Do you think I could add garlic? Thanks!

    • Two Peas replied: — June 1st, 2012 @ 8:44 am

      There is garlic in the herb oil.

  5. 5

    I am obsessed with making homemade focaccia! And you’ve reminded me that I need to make some for this weekend. Maybe I’ll try your recipe this time! :-)

  6. 6

    Yum! This sounds awesome!

  7. 7
    Tracey — June 1, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    I love that book too, though I haven’t tried the focaccia yet. The herb oil sounds amazing!!

  8. 8
    Jeannette — June 1, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    I have looked over the recipe and am missing the step that makes it take 2 days. At what point does it go in the fridge overnight?

    • Two Peas replied: — June 1st, 2012 @ 8:45 am

      Look at step 9:)

  9. 9

    I absolutely love Focaccia bread! This looks amazing!!!

    http://www.lifeofamodernhousewife.com

  10. 10
    Aggie — June 1, 2012 @ 8:48 am

    Mmmmmm bread. Bread with garlic & herbs even better. :) I love when you get to bake with your dad :)

  11. 11
    Katrina (GF Gidget) — June 1, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    That seriously looks amazing!!!!

  12. 12

    Oh yum! I love Focaccia Bread! I haven’t tried to make it yet, but now I have too!

  13. 13
    Jennifer — June 1, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    I love focaccia bread! I can’t wait to test out this recipe.

  14. 14

    I have been wanting to make focaccia bread for a while now and this one looks like th one I am going to try! The texture of the bread look just perfect!

  15. 15

    I just made this recipe for the first time a few months ago; it’s outstanding! I couldn’t stop eating it… so yummy!

  16. 16
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — June 1, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    Maria, I have been thinking about focaccia ALL WEEK. In love with the herb oil concept. Making this weekend!

  17. 17
    Lauren — June 1, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    LOVE focaccia! And once you get it down, it’s so super easy!

  18. 18
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — June 1, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    Girl, GET OUT. This looks so awesome.

  19. 19
    Mi Vida en un Dulce — June 1, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    Can you ask your father if wants to come to Peru and visit me? :)
    The focaccia really looks amazing…!!!

  20. 20
    HeatherChristo — June 1, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    I just love focaccia bread, and this herb olive oil is beautiful!

  21. 21
    Jill — June 1, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    Ooooh, this bread looks so perfect! I love it!

  22. 22
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — June 1, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    I love focaccia! I’ve been looking for a whole wheat version because I live abroad and flour is different in every country and bread with white flour never turns out. Maybe I’ll just try this anyway. :) Your loaf is beautiful and I love the herb oil!

  23. 23
    Flavia — June 1, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    I always love reading about how you and your dad bake together. It’s such a sweet memory and one that will last a lifetime. Focaccia is one of my favorite Italian breads, but I have never made it (what kind of Italian am I?!) ;) I’ll have to add The Bread Baker’s Apprentice to my cookbook collection. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe.

  24. 24

    Yum! I have focaccia making on my list of things to try…yours looks beautiful!

  25. 25

    Love focaccia bread – this looks awesome!

  26. 26

    I love focaccia but it’s so dangerous. It lures me into the kitchen to keep nibbling!

  27. 27
    Sue — June 1, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    I’ve always wanted to make focaccia, but the only recipes I’ve ever seen have been for a bread machine which I don’t have (but is on my wish list!!). Thank you for this recipe – I’m looking forward to trying it!

  28. 28
    The Hungry Housewife — June 1, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    Focaccia is one of my favorite breads to make..its sooooo easy!

  29. 29

    I love focaccia! So easy and so delicious! :)

  30. 30
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — June 1, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    I love homemade focaccia! The herb oil sounds divine! I look forward to giving this a try.

  31. 31
    Cassie — June 1, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    Fresh bread is THE best. This herb oil sounds out of this world.

  32. 32

    Yum! I love focaccia bread. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  33. 33
    Marla Meridith — June 1, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    I can never spell it but I love F-O-C-A-C-C-I-A

  34. 34
    Shaina — June 1, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    Gorgeous. This looks like the perfect bread to have around for dinner, no matter what dinner might be.

  35. 35

    I’ve been looking for a good focaccia bread recipe, can’t wait to try this one!!

  36. 36
    Stephanie — June 1, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Looks delicious with all the toppings!

  37. 37

    I love that book! I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but it is on our list. Yours looks perfect!

  38. 38
    Emily B — June 1, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    I love focaccia! That looks fantastic!

  39. 39
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — June 1, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    Sounds like an awesome time visiting and cooking with your pop! Your bread looks absolutely perfect! I have set out to make focaccia bread on a number of occasions and it has never quite turned out like….well….focaccia bread ;) Your recipe is the one I’ll follow for my next go-round :)

  40. 40
    Deliciously Organic — June 1, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    I love foccacia! This looks delicious!

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