Introduction: How to Make Focaccia
If you want to make homemade bread, focaccia is a great place to start. It will teach you to work with yeast, and fill your house with an incredible aroma, but its flat shape and doughy consistency make it a very forgiving variety.
No matter which focaccia recipe you use, here are the basic steps that will get you through from start to finish. The recipe may take a while due to the rising time (the bread has to rise twice), but it is actually fairly straightforward.
1. Pour a package of dry yeast into lukewarm water and let it sit for about 15 minutes. The mixture should be slightly frothy but you may not see much happening. As long as the yeast is not more than a year old, it should be fine.
2. Once the yeast has begun to froth, mix the yeast/water mixture in a large bowl with olive oil, flour, salt, sugar, and any herbs you may want to add.
3. Begin to knead the dough, trying to incorporate all the flour. You can add a little extra flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Knead by hand for about 8-10 minutes or use a standing mixer with a dough hook. The dough will be ready when it springs back quickly to the touch.
4. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a new bowl and roll the dough in it so that it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl and leave it in a warm spot for about 1.5-2 hours until the dough has doubled in size, or in the fridge overnight.
5. Flatten out the dough on a baking sheet, dimpling it with your fingers. This will give the focaccia its signature craggy look when it bakes.
6. Cover for about 1 more hour for the final rise, until it looks puffy and feels springy. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and any additional herbs.
7. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes until golden and set. Remove from the oven and turn onto a wire rack after about 5 minutes.
8. Now comes the best part! Once cool, enjoy with olive oil, nutella, or make a delicious sandwich, such as our focaccia sandwich with chicken, Dofino Gouda, and Brussels sprouts (http://dofinousa.com/recipe/brussels-sprout-hash-with-dofino-gouda-slices-on-focaccia/). You can also top it with cheese and tomato sauce and serve it as a pizza.
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