Who doesn’t love bread?
I grew up eating fresh bread made from scratch. My mom still bakes bread every week or two. She makes about 8-10 loaves at a time. She gives some to family and friends and freezes the rest. Her youngest brother also owned one of the largest bakeries in the city and they supplied restaurants all over with bread and baked goods. I think baking just came natural to me. It’s definitely in my DNA.
I find it so relaxing and therapeutic. My husband loves foccacia, a large Italian style flatbread that’s thin and filled with pockets of delicious olive oil and cracked black pepper, sea salt, spices and herbs. You can also make it with tomatoes or thinly sliced potatoes as well.
Now I cannot compete with my mother in laws foccacia. I don’t know what it is, even when you take your mom/dads recipe and try to copy it exactly, for some reason it just never tastes the same!
I’m not one to give up though!!! So here is one from our family we hope you love it as much as we do.
- 1 Pouch rapid dry yeast ( this one requires no proofing)
- if using active dry yeast you need to follow the directions and proof it separately. This recipe is meant to be done in a mixer.
- 4 Cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tsp salt
- 1 Tsp sugar
- 2 Cups warm water or you can do 1 water and 1 milk (temp should be around 100 degrees)
- 3/4 Cup Olive oil plus a little more for your bowl
- Sea Salt
- Black pepper
- 2 Tbsp Rosemary or Oregano
- 1 Tbsp Garlic powder
Grab a large mixing bowl and coat it with some olive oil. Your going to let your dough rise in this so make sure that it’s big enough. Set aside.
In your Mixer using your dough hook. Place your dry ingredients including package of yeast in the bowl and mix to combine.
Add your warm water(milk combo) and 1/2 cup of the olive oil and turn speed to medium. You will see dough start to mix and come together. Slowly keep increasing the speed till the dough mixes together more and more and starts to pull away from the bowl and forms a ball. This takes approx 5 minutes.
When ready, shape that mixture into a round ball. Place the ball into your greased bowl and using that olive oil make sure the entire ball is covered. Place a piece of plastic wrap over it and I also like to cover it with a damp tea towel as well. If your home is cold or has any draft it will not rise properly. Place it in your oven and allow it to rise for an hour.
While you're waiting sing in Italian and have a glass of vino while you wait for your bread. Grease a large rectangular cookie sheet with either olive oil or margarine, butter. This will get your dough nice and crispy on the bottom.
When you see that your dough has risen double in size (approx 1 hr maybe a little more).
On a clean surface punch down your dough a bit to help release the air and place that dough onto your cookie sheet and stretch it out gently using your hands. Cover it up again with plastic wrap for another 15 -20 min or so. It will continue to rise. At this point you will push it gently with your fingers to the edges of your sheet pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take your remaining olive oil and drizzle it all over your dough evenly. Make sure it’s nice and covered.You can also use a brush to apply the oil, careful not to tear your dough.
Now using your fingertips punch little holes all over your dough. This allows little pockets to form and the olive oil will seep into those little pockets.
Add your salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary evenly distribute it all over.
If it needs more olive oil you can add a touch more.
For perfect foccacia you need to keep an eye on it. No two ovens are alike.
Bake it on the bottom rack for 20 minutes. Check underneath your dough and see the color. Is it still light or too dark? If it’s too light give it another 5 minutes. If its burning then put to middle rack to get golden for another 10 minutes.
Usually I bake mine on the bottom rack for 20 minutes and then the last 10 minutes I put on the middle rack to get nice and golden on top.
Once done take it out and drizzle a wee bit more olive oil and salt or you can put some Parmesan. Cut them up into pieces and eat it straight out of the oven cause it’s delicious when it’s nice and warm....
Make this for a snack or as a side dish to any of your meals. There is nothing in this world like fresh bread.
Hope you guys enjoyed this one! And a big thank you to my mother in law for her delicious foccacia. I can never get it like yours but it’s a close second :)
And a big thank you to my mama for showing me the love of bread.