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. 43
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — June 1, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    This focaccia looks amazing and it’s hands down one of my favorites! Beautiful!

  2. 44

    Oh yes! This bread would be amazing with some homemade soup. I’m going to have to try that, but as you said, it may not make it to the soup portion. I’ll just eat it all out of the pan! :)

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  4. 45

    Your focaccia looks wonderful!

  5. 46
    Ashley — June 1, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    Hi Maria! I wanted to let you know that I have re-entered the blogging world. It only took me nearly 2 years after having my first. :) Hope all is well with you guys – I’ve loved the updates on Caleb! They grow up so fast!

  6. 47
    Margarita — June 1, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

    Your focaccia looks gorgeous! :) I could just eat this for dinner with some marinara sauce! Yum!

  7. 48
    Donna — June 1, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

    I have never made foccacia – but you have made me want to try!

  8. 49
    Joanne — June 1, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

    I love how you and your dad bake together! So cute. I”ve had this cookbook for forever but haven’t baked anything from it…shame on me!

  9. 50
    Ann P. — June 1, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    Drooling. I need that garlicky rosemary taste!

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  11. 51
    Jen @ Savory Simple — June 1, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

    One of my favorite breads :)

  12. 52

    yummmmm that looks so delicious! i love how all the nooks and crannies trap the flavor! mmm! oh gluten, why must you exist?? :) hahah thanks for sharing! gorgeous photography!

  13. 53
    SeattleDee — June 1, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

    I’ve got focaccia on my mind this week, and yours sounds terrific.

  14. 54
    kitchen essence — June 2, 2012 @ 1:28 am

    I’m going to make this!
    What did you serve it with?

  15. 55
    Russell van Kraayenburg — June 2, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    I love focaccia! I’m always looking for new recipes – will definitely be trying this one soon.

  16. 56

    Gorgeous! I love how quick and easy (and delicious) focaccia bread is :)

  17. 57
    Miss Laurel — June 2, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    I love focaccia, and this looks delicious! Yummy! By the way, you have a great blog! Congratulations!

    • Two Peas replied: — June 2nd, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

      Thank you!

  18. 58

    I love focaccia bread! this looks so good!

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  20. 59
    Esi — June 3, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    Love focaccia and that it is so easy to make

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  23. 60
    Kim in MD — June 4, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    YUM! I love, love, love focaccia. I can’t wait to try this!

  24. 61
    Debbie — June 5, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    I have two of Peter Reinhart’s books & have made this same Focaccia bread several times. It’s so good!

  25. 62
    Kristina Vanni — June 6, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    This is the perfect accompaniment to any summer dish. I love the use of herbs!

  26. 63

    We both love focaccia and can’t wait to try it soon, and pair it with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
    Cheers :)

  27. 64

    Yeas ago, I used to be on this huge focaccia kick – I’d pretty much have it daily. This looks so simple of loaded with herbs. Yum!

  28. 65
    Theresa — June 18, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

    I agree with Averie, Maria! Your focaccia bread looks well executed. I want to try this one out at home but I am not sure if I am ready to yet. I’ll give it my best shot!

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  30. 66
    Lolly — August 25, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

    What can i use if I don’t have a paddle attachment or a bread hook?

    • Two Peas replied: — August 25th, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

      You can knead the dough by hand.

  31. 67
    tanya1234 — November 26, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

    thankxxxxxxxxx have to try it soon

  32. 68
    Tina — January 24, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    Oh no, finally found the perfect recipe but I don’t have instant yeast!! Just active dry, does it matter???

  33. 69
    Kristin — September 13, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

    Is it possible to bake this the same day instead of refrigerating overnight? Silly me looked at the ingredient list and thought “I have all of that!” And went ahead and started preparing the dough…and then I got to step 9. LOL! Was hoping to have this tonight without dinner :(

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  35. 70
    KayleneP @ The Links Site — November 25, 2013 @ 1:16 am

    Love focaccia bread – can’t wait to try making this one!

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