Focaccia Bread

Sourdough photo for Focaccia Bread

Focaccia is Italian bread that is baked in a flat shape and can be topped with a variety of sweet or savory ingredients. Although it seems to have recently gained popularity Focaccia dates back to ancient Roman times where it was baked on a hot stone or tile under a mound of hot ashes. Yields: One 8” x 10” flatbread.

Ingredients

Procedure

In place of a baking stone, you can use unglazed tiles from a home improvement store.

Place ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer in the order given. Use a dough hook to mix/knead the dough for 5 – 7 minutes. (Alternatively, you can combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, holding back half of the flour. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Dough will be very sticky. Pour other half of flour onto kneading surface, place sticky dough from bowl onto flour and knead the flour into it by hand for 7 – 10 minutes.)

Cover with a clean towel and let rise 1 ½ hours.

Punch down the dough and let rise again for 1 hour.

Punch down and knead on a lightly floured surface for 15 seconds. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight.

The next day, remove dough from refrigerator and allow it to come back to room temperature for 30 – 45 minutes.

Punch down and let rest 1 – 2 minutes.

Roll and shape dough by hand into a rough 8” x 10” rectangle on a lightly floured surface.

Transfer the dough rectangle onto a pizza peel or the flat side of a cookie sheet that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal.

Using your fingertips make indentations all over the surface of the dough.

Drizzle about 1 teaspoon olive oil over the dough allowing it to pool in the indentations.

Next, sprinkle ½ teaspoon coarse salt, ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper and assorted dried Italian herbs over the dough.

Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450° F with a baking stone on the middle rack.

Slide dough onto preheated baking stone. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Bakers requires an assortment of bread baking ingredients.

Sourdough

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