This delicious bread is my pick for I Heart Cooking Clubs theme of the week, March Mezze Madness. I made this focaccia to use for little roasted veggie sandwiches which were great! I love versatile focaccia and am always up for trying a new recipe. This one is from Tessa Kiros' book, Twelve -- A Tuscan Cookbook...
Focaccia all-olio -- Flat Olive Oil Bread
adapted from Tessa Kiros
makes 1 oven tray of about 12 by 16 inches
1 oz. fresh yeast, I used 2 and 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 and 1/4 cups tepid water
a pinch of sugar
1 pound 2 oz bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling
I also added 1 teaspoon of Italian herb seasoning, the recipe preface says you can scatter fresh rosemary or other fresh herbs on top before baking, but I just added them in to the dough
Put the yeast into a bowl with the water and the pinch of sugar and leave it to activate.
Put the flour and the 1 teaspoon of salt into a large, wide bowl or onto a work surface. Add the yeast to the flour and mix in with a fork to incorporate. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and begin kneading with your hands for about 10 minutes until you have a compact, smooth dough. Add a little more flour or water if necessary. Alternatively, make the dough in a mixer using a dough hook. Confession, I kneaded this in the bread machine on dough cycle.
Put the dough into a bowl, cover with a cloth, and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Spread the dough with your fingertips into a lightly oiled oven tray. Drizzle the surface with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for another 30 to 60 minutes, or until it has risen. I only waited 30 minutes but think it would have been better if I had waited 60.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400. Bake the focaccia in the hot oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden and crusty. Cut into serving pieces and serve warm.
This focaccia had a great flavor and texture. My kids are big focaccia fans and it seems like I was making every other day last summer for all of the neighborhood kids :) My usual recipe yields a thicker focaccia but this one ended up being just perfect for sandwiches and was easy to slice in half. Sometimes sandwiches are too bready and with this thin focaccia that was never a problem. My kids and picky husband loved this one and it got gobbled up quickly.