Thick Focaccia

by Kelli H. on November 4, 2011

When I first started baking classes my favorite bread to make was focaccia. This was one of the recipes given to us although this wasn’t my favorite one. I seem to have misplaced the very first recipe I made in school. This one is by all means good though and it provides big thick fluffy pieces. I like to salt and pepper the top and then eat it plain right from the oven. Or dip the pieces in a sauce or salad dressing with dinner.

What is more impressive than homemade bread? 
Try it out today!
Thick Focaccia
Adapted from Cathy Burgett March 2006
1 Tbs + 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
5 1/2 cups bread flour (1 lb 11 oz)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil, divided + 4 Tbs
1 Tbs salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Let sit. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook add sugar, flour, salt, and 1/2 cup olive oil; mix on low speed for about a minute. Slowly add in the dissolved yeast water. Mix for about 5 minutes on a medium speed until dough comes together by forming a ball and is slightly sticky. 
2. Transfer dough to an lightly greased bowl and cover in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in bulk
3. In an oiled half sheet pan, press the dough evenly and cover lightly in a warm place. Let it rise again for 1 hour. 
4. Dimple the dough using your fingers. In a small ramekin or bowl add about 4 tablespoons olive oil and mix with about 4 tablespoons water. Using your fingers, drip the water/olive oil mixture all over the focaccia. Season with salt and pepper. 
5. In a 425 degree oven, bake the focaccia for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Let cool in the pan on a rack, serve warm or at room temperature.
Some notes for this recipe:
*I use a heating pad to speed up the process of rising. It took my dough about 1 hour to completely double in size. It also took only about half an hour to rise again after I spread it out in the half sheet pan. 
*You can also make this dough without a mixer and dough hook. Simply place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix in the olive oil with your hands. Pour the dissolved yeast water into your bowl. Once it’s combined, on a clean work surface, knead your dough by hand for about 5 minutes. You’ll  get a great arm workout but it does the same thing.
*My bread was done at the 30 minute mark.
*I used all-purpose flour after I realized we didn’t have bread flour. It still worked but I think the bread flour would have been better.
 
Do you ever decide to make a recipe and then realize later you’re missing an ingredient? 
Ugh, I hate that! 
That’s when being good at improvising really helps.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristine @ Running on Hungry November 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm

That looks amazing! And SO tasty! I’ve had to emergency run to the grocery store more times than I care to admit due to not having an ingredient!

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Errign November 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I improvise everything hehe 🙂

Thanks for sharing about AP flour. I think I’ll try this with spelt flour 🙂

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Haley @ Health Freak College Girl November 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm

i love focaccia but i haven’t made it yet. gotta try this recipe 🙂

and it’s like the story of my life when i set my mind on making a recipe and i don’t have an ingredient. it’s so annoying! i look online for some sort of substitution but it doesn’t always work haha

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Kathryn @ Flopoodle November 6, 2011 at 6:20 am

I was always so nervous about baking bread with yeast, but this doesn’t look too hard! It looks delicious!

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