Italian Bread…..otherwise known as FOCACCIA !!!!!
Italian Bread…..otherwise known as FOCACCIA !!!!! So delicious….so easy to make….you’ll wonder why you’ve never made it before. My Nonna used make this all the time, in several variations, and I’d devour each and every one of them. With salad, with pasta, with soup, with whatever, or just by itself. What a Treat!!
This recipe is one is the simplest variations, but after you’ve followed it to the end, look for my “note” and I’ll tell you how she used to “change it up a bit”.
So, here's what you need to do:
GET YOUR INGREDIENTS TOGETHER:
1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 finely minced sweet purple onion
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh rosemary
Okay…..Now let’s make that Focaccia!!!!!
1. Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. (you should see some bubbles appear in the mix).
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, sugar, garlic powder, oregano, ½ tsp basil, and black pepper.
3. Add the yeast mix and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and gently combine.
4. When the dough has formed put it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it appears smooth and elastic.
5. Lightly oil a large bowl then place dough in the bowl and turn with your hands until the dough is coated with oil.
6. Cover dough with a damp cloth, set in a warm spot, and let dough rise. About 20-25 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
8. Knead dough down in the bowl, then place on greased baking sheet.
9. Lightly press dough into 1/2-inch thick rectangle or two exaggerated oval shapes.
10. Using your fingers make light indentations in the dough about 1/2-inch apart, and then prick dough with fork.
11. Brush top with olive oil.
12. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.
13. After baking sprinkle top of focaccia with fresh rosemary and then drizzle entire surface with virgin olive oil.
Note: Okay….now the variations:
1. After all of the above is done, sprinkle the top of the focaccia with 2 tablespoons of grated fresh parmesan cheese and about 1 to 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Return to oven for just about 3 minutes, or just long enough for the mozzarella to melt, then serve.
2. Again, after the first 1-13 steps are done, take one can of tomato sauce and add ¼ cup of sugar to it and mix. Then spread over entire surface of focaccia, return to oven for about 3-5 minutes, and serve.
3. Combine 1-13 with #1 and #2 here.
4. You can also add salami or Parma ham or onions to the top of any of the above variations.
5. Combine all of the above steps, 1-13 and 1,2,4 and add sliced tomatoes and olives and bell peppers to the top and sprinkle the cheese over it, rewarm in oven, and serve.
6. And, for lunch, use your homemade Focaccia and make yourself a sandwich!
I never knew which Focaccia we were going to get, but I always knew I’d love it….and I did!!!!!
PS: I’ve already given you my family’s Spaghetti recipe, and our Italian Salad recipe…..now just bake yourself some focaccia to go along with that Spaghetti and Salad and you’ve got one great and authentic Italian Family dinner!!!!!