Focaccia is probably one of the first artisanal bread I tried other than a baguette or your usual Pullman loaf. By no means am I a baker. I love the thought of knowing how to bake sweets or bread, but honestly, it is a hit and miss.
My first encounter with focaccia was at my first job in Uptown New Orleans. My mornings were so early, but good thing that is when all of the baking went on. I watched the guy as he poked holes into the dough and then drizzled it with olive oil and rosemary. While baking, the smell of the yeasty dough and fresh herbs were intoxicating. Bread+olive oil, need I say more?
For this recipe, I used a spice mix called dukkah. What is dukkah? It is an Egyptian spice blend full of all sorts of surprises and flavor bombs! Recipes for this is never ending, but always include nuts, spices, and seeds. I placed a few tablespoons of the spice mixture into the dough, but get creative y'all! There are a ton of different yummy varieties to try...
Rosemary+Flaked Salt Tomato+Basil Rosemary+Olives Italian Seasoning+Parmesan
There will be two rises for the focaccia. The first one once it is mixed up and placed inside of a bowl for at least one hour, and the second time when it is laid out on the pan with the oil and spices.
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 1 packet dried active yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cups olive oil
Place the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Place bowl in a warm area until the yeast begins to bubble, at least 10-15 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, attached with the dough hook, combine flour, kosher salt, yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Mix on low speed until everything is incorporated. Once the dough comes together, knead for 5-6 minutes on medium speed until smooth and soft. If dough is too sticky and tacky, sprinkle with a little more flour.
Transfer dough to a clean, lightly floured surface and then knead by hand for 3-4 minutes. Remember to keep some flour close by just in case dough is still sticky and tacky.
Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cloth towel. place in a warm place until dough has doubled in size. Around 1 hour.
Coat a sheet pan or jelly roll pan with remaining olive oil. Begin pressing down on the dough and stretching it. Turn over to coat the other side. Continue to stretch until dough fits the size of your pan. Make finger holes all the way through the dough.
Put dough in a warm place until it has doubled in size, around 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees while dough rises.
Once the dough has doubled, sprinkle the top of focaccia with coarse salt and drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Add chopped rosemary or your choice of seasoning.
Bake the focaccia until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
If you choose to add a spice mixture and seasoning to your dough, such as fresh chopped rosemary or the dukkah spice mixture, make sure to add 2 tablespoons when you incorporate all ingredients into the stand mixer. Or, you can sprinkle on top before baking.