Filed under Breads
½ teaspoon sugar
⅔ cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 scant cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Fresh or dried herbs
Stir the sugar into the warm water, then stir in the yeast until dissolved. Stir in salt and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix in 1 cup of flour. Work in the last cup of flour and knead, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the counter. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic and very soft. Oil the dough and place it in a bowl; cover with a damp cloth and let rest until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Lightly grease a baking sheet or 9-inch square pan. For a more rustic looking bread, press dough out in a circular shape to about 1-inch thickness and place on baking tray, or press into the 9-inch pan. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Before baking, make dimples in the bread by gently pressing your fingertips into the dough. Drizzle on the remaining olive oil. Top with any optional toppings. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Since focaccia bread is supposed to look rustic, you don't need to worry about your loaf turning out perfectly. Which is good for me, because perfectly shaped loaves of bread are not one of my strengths. I usually bake mine in a 9-inch square pan and top it with salt and pepper, rosemary and Parmesan cheese. If you have any leftovers, it makes a great panini or grilled cheese sandwich.
Who Dished It Up First
I pulled this recipe from a Family Fun magazine years ago. It's still one of our favorites.
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