Focaccia!

I’m home! I left the frozen north yesterday, and am now back in my lovely island home, with my much missed family, and my wonderful dog. The view ain’t too bad either!

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Yep. The view from my living room. I win!

I have been promising my fam-jam some tasty treats as soon as I got back, so my first order of business when I got home from coffee at my gramma’s with my dad at 7 am (yes, we are a family of weirdly early risers, I know), I got to work on making one of my dad’s favourite foods: focaccia! My entire childhood, and once in a while now, my dad has taken my sister and me for brunch on Sunday at a lovely restaurant here in Grenada called La Boulangerie, and while my sister usually get’s a cinnamon twist and I gobble down a sticky danish, my dad has always gotten focaccia. He loves it. Italian flat bread, made with lots of olive oil, with any number of different toppings on it. At La Boulangerie, which primarily serves pizza, they make it into a very thick crusted pizza, with different toppings, so that’s what I’m going to do. Mozzarella, cheddar, green peppers, onions and rosemary are my weapons of choice today!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package yeast (or 2 and a 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 cup warm water (105 degrees F/41 degrees C)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

*Any toppings you would like can go on this, as I said, I’m using two cheeses and some vegetables, but you can just leave it plain, or go for plain with veggies, or salted… if you look up different focaccia toppings online, I’m sure you can find some wonderful inspiration! I love working with doughs, so I was super duper excited for this! My recipe is slightly adapted from this one.

Whisk the yeast with warm water in a mixing bowl; whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, 1/4 cup of flour, and 2 teaspoons rosemary (this is optional, but highly recommended :P) until thoroughly combined.

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Next, you’re going to mix in 2 cups of flour, using a wooden spoon, until the dough is too stiff and sticky to mix.

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Turn your dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead, dusting with remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed, until the dough is soft, smooth, and slightly elastic, 2 to 3 minutes.

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Now, it’s time to get messy! Drizzle the dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, spreading oil over the dough. Knead the dough briefly, about 2 minutes, to incorporate olive oil. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon oil. Knead 2 or 3 more minutes to incorporate olive oil. Drizzle dough with 1 more tablespoon oil and knead in as before. If it seems too sticky, knead in a little more flour. Knead until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic, 1 to 2 more minutes (7 to 8 minutes total kneading time).

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Drizzle 1 more tablespoon of olive oil (I know, it’s a lot, but so worth it) into a large bowl, place the dough into the bowl, and turn the dough in the bowl several times to coat with oil.

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Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.

risenTada!

Coat a sheet pan lightly with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Turn the dough onto the pan and press gently into a rough rectangular shape using your fingers, pressing out all the air bubbles. Cover the sheet pan loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 15 to 20 minutes.

When that’s done, drizzle a little more olive oil onto the dough, spread it around, and poke oil-covered fingers deeply into the dough to make dimples all over the surface, making sure to hit the pan. Fill in any spaces with holes until entire surface is covered with dimples.

dotted

Let it rise, until doubled in size, for about 45 minutes. I don’t recommend leaving this covered in a fridge if you won’t be making it right away. Make it and then cook it straight away, because I left mine and it soaked up all the olive oil on the pan and stuck after it cooked.

Preheat your oven to 475 F, then prepare your focaccia for the oven. I sprinkled mine with about 4 cups of shredded cheese, half cheddar half mozzarella, about half a sliced green pepper, about half an onion, and a couple teaspoons of fresh rosemary.

cheesed

Bake for 15 minutes until the loaf is lightly golden brown, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool before cutting.

 cooked

cooked slice

My family loved this! My dad says it’s just as good as La Boulangerie’s 😛

-Happy Cooking!

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